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By  the  Same  Author 









From  a  drawing  fry  T.  S.  Boys 




:  /, 




"  Behold  that  street — the  Omphalos  of  Town  ! 
Where  the  grim  palace  wears  the  prison's  frown. 
What  tales — what  morals  of  the  elder  day — 
If  stones  had  language — could  that  street  convey.' 
The  New  Timon, 









THIS  attempt  to  trace  the  history  of  one  of  London's 
most  notable  thoroughfares  has  been  undertaken  because 
nobody  has  done  it  before.  White's  and  Brooks 's  have 
both  had  their  historians  ;  the  ana  concerning  the  social 
and  political  aspect  of  St  James's  Street  are  endless ; 
but,  curiously  enough,  a  volume  concerned  solely  with  the 
annals  of  the  street — topographical  and  historical,  social 
and  political — has  not  hitherto  been  attempted.  Simi- 
larly nothing  of  a  complete  character  has  before  been 
published  about  Almack's,  an  institution  which  occupied 
a  dominating  position  in  fashionable  London  life  during 
more  than  half-a-century  of  that  life's  gayest  and  most 
festive  career.  Under  these  circumstances  an  apology  for 
swelling,  by  yet  another  book,  the  already  vast  library  of 
Londoniana  seems  hardly  necessary. 

I  have  refrained  from  touching,  except  indirectly,  on 
St  James's  Palace,  because  that  historic  pile  has  already 
been  fully  dealt  with  by  the  late  Canon  Edgar  Sheppard. 

As  on  former  occasions  I  have  been  generously  assisted 
by  many  in  whose  power  it  was  to  give  me  special  help  ; 
and  I  take  this  occasion  of  here  tendering  a  general 
expression  of  gratitude — gratitude  that  is  particularly 
due  to  Mr  Harvey,  the  well-known  book  and  print  seller 
of  St  James's  Street,  for  information  concerning  his  in- 
teresting property  in  Pickering  Place ;  as  well  as  to  the 
custodians  of  the  Rate  Books  at  the  St  Martin's  Town  Hall, 
whose  courtesy  has  not  by  any  means  been  shown  me  for 
the  first  time. 

E.  B.  C. 




I.  ST  JAMES'S  STREET  IN  THE  PAST          .            .  13 

II.   EAST  AND  WEST   SIDES  OF  STREET           .                 .  38 

III.  TRIBUTARY  STREETS  (EAST  SIDE)               .                 .  55 

IV.  TRIBUTARY  STREETS  (WEST  SIDE)             .                 .  78 
V.  THE   CLUBS           .....  121 

VI.  THE  CLUBS — continued               .             .             .  138 

VII.  FAMOUS  MEN  AND  WOMEN     .       .       .  176 



I.  EARLY  HISTORY  OF  ALMACK'S    .                 .                 .  195 

TEENTH CENTURY       .             .                          .  208 

III.  THE  LADY  PATRONESSES          .            .            .  228 

IV.  THE  WITS  AND  THE  DANDIES    .             .             .  235 
V.  THE  LATER  HISTORY  OF  ALMACK'S        .            .  261 

vi.  ALMACK'S  IN  FICTION    ....  267 

INDEX  .                                      ...  281 


ST  JAMES'S  PALACE  .  .  .  Frontispiece 

By  T.  S.  Boys 


ST  JAMES'S  CONDUIT  .  .  .  .14 


ST  JAMES'S  STREET       .  .  .  .40 

NO.  4  ST  JAMES'S  STREET   .  .  .  .42 

PICKERING  PLACE  AS  IT  IS  TO-DAY  .  .      56 

JAMES  CHRISTIE'S  AUCTION  ROOM,  1803      .  .       58 

OLD  WHITE'S  CLUB  .....     122 
ST  JAMES'S  STREET  ....     124 

From  Hogarth's  "  Rake's  Progress" 


WHITE'S  .....     126 

ST  JAMES'S  STREET  ....     130 

After  a  Caricature  by  Gillray 

THE  CARD  ROOM  AT  BROOKS'S         .            .  .     146 


"  SEQUEL  TO  BATTLE  OF  TEMPLE  BAR  "      .  .     170 

"  GOING  TO  WHITE'S  "  190 

BALL  AT  ALMACK'S  .             .  196 


(1)  EARLY    PLANS ;     (2)  RATE    BOOKS  ;     (3)  THE 

ALTHOUGH  the  portion  of  the  West  End  of  London  com- 
prised in  the  area  around  St  James's  Palace  may  properly 
be  said  to  owe  its  fashionable  existence  to  Henry  Jermyn, 
Earl  of  St  Albans,  who  created  St  James's  Square  on 
ground  granted  him  by  Charles  II.  in  1664,  the  presence 
of  the  Palace,  converted  by  Henry  VIII.  from  the  Leper 
Hospital  originally  standing  here,  in  or  about  1528,  must 
have  given  this  district  a  cachet  even  at  this  early  period, 
and  obviously  marked  it  out  for  that  building  develop- 
ment which  invariably  takes  place  around  any  royal 

It  is  unfortunate  that  Agas's  great  plan  of  London, 
circa  1560,  does  not  extend  sufficiently  westward  to  in- 
clude this  then  outlying  portion  of  the  Metropolis. 
Especially  is  this  regrettable  because  Agas  is  the  first 
cartographer  who  attempted  to  deal  carefully  with  his 
subject  and  marked;  with  no  little  precision,  the  roads  and 
streets  of  the  London  that  then  existed.  Wyngaerde, 
who  produced  his  famous  "  view  "  some  ten  years  earlier, 
has  left  us  a  most  interesting  general  picture  of  the  city, 
but  his  production  was  inevitably  rough  and  ready, 
particularly  when  it  dealt  with  outlying  areas,  so  that 
although  he  shows  us  St  James's  Church  and  marks  the 
"King's  Palace,"  by  a  note,  on  his  picture  (there  is  no 
indication,  architecturally,  of  the  building),  he  shows  us 



nothing  else  but  open  country.  The  perspective  (not  very 
well  understood  then)  of  his  view  is  responsible  for  this 
to  a  large  extent,  and  we  might  be  inclined  to  think  that 
in  those  days  no  precursor  to  the  St  James's  Street,  which 
here  specially  interests  us,  was  in  existence,  if  we  relied 
too  much  on  what  Wyngaerde  has  set  down. 

There  is  little  doubt,  however,  that  at  least  a  roadway 
of  some  sort  ran  up  from  the  Palace  gate  to  the  important 
way  to  Readinge,  as  Piccadilly  was  then  called,  during 
Tudor  days,  and  that  such  a  roadway,  with  hedges  on 
both  sides  and  having  all  the  characteristics  of  a  country 
lane,  was  the  first  step  towards  the  St  James's  Street  of 
fashionable,  political  and  convivial  associations,  which  it 
became  in  the  eighteenth  century  and  which  it  so  largely 
remains  to-day. 

At  first  all  the  area  through  which  the  thoroughfare 
runs  was  known  as  St  James's  Fields,  which  roughly 
extended  from  the  Haymarket  westward.  Here,  where 
is  now  St  James's  Square,  stood  a  conduit  built  of  bricks, 
and  adjoining  it  a  round  house  of  stone.  Bacon  mentions 
these  in  his  Historia  Naturalis,  and  evidently  was  person- 
ally acquainted  with  the  two  structures,  for  he  remarks 
that  "  in  the  brick  conduit  there  is  a  window,  and  in  the 
round  house  a  slit  or  rift  of  some  breadth, "  and  he  tells  how 
"  if  you  cry  out  in  the  rift  it  will  make  a  fearful  roaring  at 
the  window. ' ' x  That  building  development  must  have  been 
begun  with  some  activity  even  under  the  Commonwealth 
is  proved  by  the  fact  that  Cromwell,  on  llth  August  1656, 
issued  a  proclamation  for  "  a  stay  of  all  further  buildings 
in  the  fields  commonly  called  St  James's  Fields. " 

It  is  not  easy  to  say  exactly  whereabouts  this  building 
took  place,  but  from  the  usual  course  we  may  presume  it 
to  have  begun  on  the  east  side  of  the  area  in  question  and 

1  A  good  view  of  the  conduit  is  shown  in  Hollar's  view  of  St 
James's  Palace. 



to  have  progressed  westwards.  The  Rate  Books  for  this 
early  period  are  at  best  uncertain  guides.  The  different 
methods  pursued  by  various  rate-collectors,  the  extremely 
puzzling  way  in  which  they  made  their  rounds,  the 
absence  of  exact  particularisation  as  to  the  streets,  etc., 
visited,  all  help  to  render  these  records  hazy.  A  careful 
examination  of  them  from  the  year  1599  (before  which 
the  name  of  St  James's  does  not  appear)  leads  one  to 
suppose,  however,  that  in  that  year  two  people  were 
living  along  the  road  which  is  now  St  James's  Street,  their 
names  being  Mrs  Anne  Poulteney  and  Mr  Baldwin.  Why 
I  am  inclined  to  think  that  these  two  precursors  resided  in 
this  particular  quarter  of  the  parish  is  because  the  name 
of  Poulteney  (later  written  Pulteney)  is  traceable,  with 
different  Christian  names,  in  St  James's  Street  down  to  a 
period  long  after  this  name  is  given  to  the  roadway  in  the 
Rate  Books,  and  there  seems  to  be,  for  at  least  over  a 
hundred  years,  no  break  in  this  kind  of  apostolic  succes- 
sion, the  simple  Poulteney,  which  I  take  to  be  the  Mrs 
Anne  of  1599,  continuing  till  it  gives  place  to  Michael 
Poulteney  in  1638,1  which  in  turn  is  changed  to  William 
Poulteney  in  1654,  the  latter  becoming  Sir  William  in 
1660  onwards.  We  may  thus,  I  think,  regard  the  name 
of  Pulteney  as  being  the  one  earliest  and  longest  associ- 
ated with  "our  street."  Baldwin,  who  started  equal  in 
the  race,  does  not  appear  to  have  survived  beyond  1629, 
after  which  year  we  know  him  no  more  ;  but  as,  in  1603, 
he  is  found  paying  twenty  shillings  in  rates,  he  must  be 
considered  as  a  person  of  some  importance  in  his  day. 

Whereabouts  these  forerunners  lived  can  be  purely  but 
a  matter  of  conjecture.  In  1660  Sir  William  Pulteney  2 

1  In  1622  it  is  incorrectly  given  as  Mounteney. 

1  He  married  the  youngest  daughter  of  Sir  John  Corbett,  and 
was  grandfather  to  William,  Earl  of  Bath.  Corbett,  as  we  shall 
see,  was  a  resident  in  St  James's  Street. 



is  given  as  residing  then  on  the  west  side  of  St  James's 
Street.  If,  therefore,  he  occupied  ancestral  property,  we 
may  suppose  such  property  to  have  been  situated  in  this 
position  and  to  have  been  that  in  which  Mrs  Anne 
Poulteney  was  living  in  1599. 

For  some  years  Mrs  Poulteney  and  Mr  Baldwin  appear 
to  have  had  no  neighbours,  but  in  1609  one  Walker  is 
added  to  them.  Ten  years  later  a  Mr  Henn  and  a  Mr 
Hunt  join  them,  both  of  whom  are  found  continuing  for  a 
number  of  years.  In  1621  it  is  interesting  to  find  the 
name  of  Waller  for  the  first  time,  although  this  could 
hardly  have  been  the  poet  (he  was  only  born  in  1605),  who, 
however,  did  subsequently  live  in  St  James's  Street,  as 
we  shall  see.  In  1627  we  have  a  John  Gladston  given  as 
residing  in  this  quarter,  and  an  interesting  name  for  the 
following  year  is  that  of  Mr  Richard  Middleton,  with 
whom  we  find,  for  the  first  time,  the  Earl  of  Berkshire. 
In  1629  "Sir  Archibald  Dowglass  Kt."  appears,  and  in 
1632,  Lord  Aston.  A  certain  Crofts,  whose  presence  has 
been  for  some  time  indicated,  blossoms  into  Sir  W.  Crofts 
in  1634. 

The  Rate  Books  prove  pretty  conclusively  not  only 
the  growing  population  of  St  James's  Street  but  also  the 
fashionable  character  it  was  assuming.  Sir  Ralph  Clare, 
in  1635,  is  joined  in  the  following  year  by  Sir  John  Bingley, 
who,  as  Lord  Andover,  is  found  in  succeeding  entries. 
The  number  of  residents  about  this  time  seems  to  have 
been  from  fifteen  to  seventeen.  In  1641  we  find,  besides 
Lord  Berkshire  and  Sir  R.  Clare,  Pulteney  and  Henn, 
Sir  David  Cunningham,  the  Earl  of  Danby  and  Lord 
Gorringe.  Three  j^ears  later  (1644),  owing,  no  doubt,  to 
the  outbreak  of  the  Civil  War,  the  number  of  inhabitants 
has  dwindled  to  eight :  Henn  (become  Sir  Henry  Henn), 
Sir  John  Corbett  and  Sir  Thomas  Peyton  among  them. 
To  these,  in  1645,  is  added  the  Earl  of  Lincoln  ;  and,  in 



1646,  Lady  Lumley,  Lord  Reynolds,  Lord  Howard,  and  a 
certain  Captain  Scares  who  pays  six  shillings  for  a  garden. 
The  only  new  name  of  note  in  1647  is  that  of  Lord 
Skydimore,  and  Captain  Scares  is  found  entered  as 
"  Capt.  Scares  for  old  Perkins  his  garden  house,"  probably 
a  tenement  on  the  as  yet  only  sparsely  built-over  west  side 
of  the  road. 

In  1648  the  new  names  are  those  of  Lady  Lumley  and 
the  Countess  of  Carlisle,  who  are  joined  in  the  following 
year  by  Lord  "  Raynalow  "  (sic),  that  nobleman  paying  one 
pound  in  rates  and  becoming  later  Lord  "Rany lough."1 
A  little  later,  about  the  year  1652,  we  are  first,  I  think, 
able  to  distinguish  to  some  extent  on  which  side  of  the 
roadway  the  people  mentioned  in  the  Rate  Books  resided. 
The  supposition  is  only  relative,  and  I  give  it  with  all 
reservation.  Thus  for  the  year  mentioned  I  incline  to 
place  Michael  Poulteney,  Sir  John  Corbett,  Lord  Rayna- 
laugh  and  Mr  John  Hooke,  with  the  Earl  of  Berkshire,  at 
the  bottom  of  the  roadway,  on  the  west  side,  and  Mr 
Champion  Lane,  Mr  Kynollis,  Li  cut. -Col.  Mason  and  Lady 
Pickering  on  the  east.  There  is  the  added  probability,  by 
this  arrangement,  that  Pickering  Place  takes  its  name 
from  the  fact  of  its  running  into  what  was  once  the 
property  or  temporary  residence  of  the  last-named  tenant 
or  owner.  In  1654  a  new  name  appears — one  Mr  Richard- 
son— but  he  could  hardly  have  been  an  acquisition,  at 
least  not  in  a  monetary  way,  to  the  authorities,  as  against 
him  is  significantly  written:  "Will  not  pay."  As  he  subse- 
quently disappears,  he  apparently  could  not  be  made  to, 
and  was  turned  out.  In  the  following  year  the  name  of 
Waller  again  appears,  this  time  indicating  the  poet,  who 
is  given  as  "Waller  Esq.  "  in  1658,  and  as  "Edmund 

1  Lord  Ranelagh  was  living  at  No.  7  St  James's  Square  from  1678 
to  1693,  and  is  found  at  No.  13  in  1694  ;  see  Dasent's  St  James's 

B  17 


Waller  Esq.  " x  in  1659,  being  then  domiciled  "  In  the 
Pavement,"  which  I  imagine  was  that  part  of  the  east 
side  which  had  by  now  been  formed  into  something  more 
analogous  to  the  modern  street  than  the  rough  and  ready 
earlier  road  could  be  said  to  be. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  although  St  James's  Street  is  stated 
by  various  topographers  to  have  been  formed  in  1670,  it 
dates  from  at  least  ten  years  earlier.  The  Rate  Books  for 
1658  give  the  names  of  inhabitants  under  the  general 
heading  of  "  St  James's."  In  the  following  year  no  name 
of  district  or  street  (so  far  as  these  particular  names  are 
concerned)  is  entered,  but  in  1660  we  find  the  heading 
"  St  James's  Street."  From  this  the  deduction  is  fairly 
obvious  that  the  roadway  was  made  into  a  regular  street 
in  or  about  1659,  or  just  eleven  years  earlier  than  has 
hitherto  been  assumed.  The  fact  that  by  a  Statute  of 
13  &  14  Charles  II.  (1661-1662)  St  James's  Street  was 
ordered  to  be  paved,  not  only  proves  that  the  street  had 
already  been  formed,  but  also  indicates  that  it  was  then 
regarded  as  a  potentially  important  thoroughfare.  In 
this  connection  it  is  interesting  to  remember  that  John 
Evelyn  was  one  of  the  Commissioners  for  the  improvement 
of  the  streets,  and  under  date  of  31st  July  1662  thus  refers 
to  the  matter :  "I  sate  with  ye  Commiss™  about  re- 
forming buildings  and  streetes  of  London,  and  we  ordered 
the  paving  of  the  way  from  St  James's  North,  which  was 
a  quagmire,  and  also  of  the  Hymarket  about  Pigadillo 
[Piccadilly],  and  agreed  upon  instructions  to  be  printed 
and  published  for  the  better  keeping  the  streetes 

I  may  mention  here  that  Hare 2  and  others  have  stated 
that  at  first  St  James's  Street  was  known  as  "  The  Long 
Street."  I  have  been  at  some  pains  to  verify  this 

1  He  is  then  rated  at  sixteen  shillings. 
a  Walks  in  London. 



statement,  but  confess  to  have  been  baffled.  I  can 
find  no  indication  in  the  Rate  Books  or  elsewhere 
of  the  fact.  Nor  does  there  seem  any  adequate 
reason  why  this  particular  thoroughfare  should  have 
been  popularly  so  called.  It  is  not  specially  lengthy; 
even  compared  with  other  then  existing  streets,  it 
hardly  merited  this  distinctive  title.  If  an  adjective 
was  required  to  designate  a  new  thoroughfare,  in  this 
case  "  steep  "  would  have  been  far  more  natural  and 

We  may  thus  date  the  formation  of  St  James's  Street 
from  the  year  1659  and  allow  its  proper  and  present 
name  to  have  been  given  it  at  its  inception.  Officially 
this  was  evidently  so,  although  I  am  not  prepared  to 
deny  that  some  individuals  may  have  called  it  The 
Long  Street,  or  that  such  a  title  may  appear  in  some 
contemporary  document  with  which  I  am  unacquainted. 

Assuming,  then,  the  formation  of  St  James's  Street  in 
1659,  we  have  the  interesting  fact  that  the  notable  year  of 
Restoration,  1660,  marks  the  first  year  of  the  new  street's 
existence.  By  the  Rate  Books  we  find,  too,  Edmund 
Waller,  who  is  so  identified,  practically,  with  the  return 
of  sovereignty  in  England,  given  on  an  increased  scale  of 
rating :  one  pound  instead  of  sixteen  shillings.  We  are 
also  first  able  to  identify  Sir  William  Pulteney's  house, 
which  stood  just  before  Stable  Yard,  going  up  the  street, 
or,  roughly,  about  ten  houses  from  Cleveland  Row  on  the 
west  side.  Some  new  names  also  appear  :  Lord  Hughson 
(who  is  first  entered  in  1658)  Thomas  Eliott,  Madame 
Tagg,  Madame  London,  and  Madame  Palmer  (whom  one 
would  like  to  identify  with  Barbara  Villiers,  who  married 
Roger  Palmer  in  1658,  joined  the  Court  of  Charles  II.  in 
Holland  in  the  following  year,  and  returned  in  his  train  at 
the  Restoration,  and  not  improbably  took  up  her  residence 
in  St  James's  Street  in  order  to  be  near  her  royal  admirer's 


palace),  and  Major  Gibbons,  who  was,  doubtless,  the  pro- 
prietor of  the  famous  "  Gibbons 's  Tennis  Court,"  in  Vere 
Street,  Clare  Market. 

In  the  year  1663  I  find  but  nine  names  given  in  the 
Rate  Books  as  representing  the  residents  in  St  James's 
Street ;  in  1671  there  are  no  fewer  than  twenty-eight. 
Among  the  latter  we  find  on  the  east  side  those  of  Col. 
Thomas  Howard,  Mr  Clutterbrooke,  Sir  Peter  Collaton 
and  Lady  Bassett ;  on  the  west,  Sir  John  Buncombe  and 
Sir  Allan  Apsley  (both  well-known  men  and  subsequently 
residents  in  St  James's  Square),  and  Lady  Danvers.  By 
another  dozen  years  a  still  further  increase  is  found,  to 
the  extent  of  thirty-nine  names.  Among  them  are  Lady 
Pike,  Sir  John  Fenwick  and  Lady  Burlard  (all  entered 
at  two  pounds),  and  Lady  Scrope,  who  pays  three 

The  street  was  now  well  established  and,  as  Strype 
is  fond  of  phrasing  it,  "well  inhabited."  Its  subsidiary 
outlets,  too,  had  mostly  come  into  existence :  King  Street 
was  formed  in  1673,  although  it  was  not  till  the  nineteenth 
century  that  what  was  at  first  but  a  passage-way  into 
St  James's  Street  was  enlarged  into  a  regular  roadway  ; 
Jermyn  Street  dates  from  1667  ;  Ryder  Street  from  1674  ; 
Park  Place  was  just  being  formed  (1683),  and  Bennet 
Street  and  St  James's  Place  were  to  come,  respectively 
in  1689  and  1694.  On  the  other  hand  there  were  many 
small  courts  and  alleys,  which  have  now  disappeared,  on 
both  sides  of  the  way,  and  these  we  shall  come  to  in  our 
perambulation  in  a  later  chapter.  Suffice  it  to  say  here 
that  on  the  east  side,  from  north  to  south,  were  Villiers 
Court,  Crown  and  Sceptre  Court,  Fox  Court,  Gloucester 
Court  and  Pickering  Place,  besides  other  unnamed  open- 
ings which  gradually  came  into  existence ;  and  on  the 
west  side,  Stable  Yard,  far  more  fashionably  inhabited 
than  its  name  would  suggest,  and  running  out  of  the  main 



street  between  Park  Place  and  St  James's  Place;  and 
Little  St  James's  Street  and  Thatched  House  Court,  south 
of  the  latter  turning. 

I  need  not,  now,  follow  the  Rate  Books  further,  as  I 
shall  refer  to  them  when  speaking  of  the  interesting  in- 
habitants of  St  James's  Street  and  its  tributary  outlets ; 
but  it  is  curious,  in  going  through  these  old  records,  to 
note  the  uncertain  way  in  which  names  are  set  down, 
and  the  exceedingly  unbusinesslike  manner  in  which  the 
collectors  seem  to  have  gone  about  their  rounds.  Some 
are  found  doing  this  with  a  certain  amount  of  method, 
but,  as  a  rule,  system  is  not  their  strong  point.  Some  of 
them  have  taken  the  trouble  to  state  on  which  side  of  the 
way  the  people  lived  ;  but  this  is  not  often  the  case  until 
we  come  to  later  and  more  systematised  entries.  So  far 
as  I  can  gather,  the  usual  rule  was  to  begin  at  the  south- 
west corner  of  the  street  and  progress  up  it  to  the  north 
corner  of  Park  Place,  then  to  cross  over  to  the  south 
corner  of  Ryder  Street  and  continue  down  on  the  east  side. 
As  for  many  years  the  west  side  was  unbuilt  over  beyond 
Park  Place,  there  is  reason  for  their  leaving  this  large 
corner  unnoticed  ;  but  I  cannot  understand  their  ignoring 
the  opposite  north-east  side,  unless  it  be  that  it  was  taken, 
in  a  haphazard  kind  of  way,  together  with  the  portion  of 
Piccadilly  on  which  it  abutted. 

As  to  the  sketchy  way  in  which  names  are  spelt,  that 
is  less  to  be  wondered  at  when  one  considers  that  the 
collectors  were  hardly  likely  to  be  better  spellers  than  the 
educated  people  of  the  period.  It  thus  happens  that  we 
get  Lord  Brunkhard  for  Lord  Brouncker ;  Lady  Burly 
Lace  for  Lady  Borlase;  and  Edward,  as  often  as  Ed- 
mund, Waller ;  Sir  Peter  Collaton  is  sometimes  Sir  Peter 
Collington  and  sometimes  Sir  Peter  Colleton ;  while  it 
was  a  good  many  years  before  the  Pulteney  family  got  its 
surname  correctly  given. 



In  the  year  1685  we  find  Edward  Waller  rated  at  twelve 
pounds,  his  house  being  evidently  on  the  east  side  of  the 
street.  In  those  days  Stable  Yard,  opposite,  was  a  cul-de- 
sac  of  not  very  important  houses,  judging  from  the  fact 
that  the  rates  on  them  ranged  from  ten  shillings  down 
to  two  shillings.  By  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  however,  much  rebuilding  had  taken  place  here, 
with  the  result  that  the  residences  in  this  court  became 
fine  houses  and  were  occupied  by  fashionable  people,  as 
we  may  see  by  Kip's  plan  of  1710-1720,  and  by  the 
names  of  the  inhabitants  in  the  Rate  Books.  Even 
earlier  than  this,  notwithstanding  the  small  rateable  value 
placed  on  them,  the  houses  in  Park  Place  and  the  other 
turnings  out  of  St  James's  Street  seem  to  have  shared 
the  ever-increasing  popularity  of  the  main  thorough- 
fare as  a  desirable  place  of  abode.  This  we  shall  see 
more  particularly  when  we  come  to  deal  with  these 
tributary  streets.  In  St  James's  Street  itself,  on  the  west 
side,  we  find  the  Earl  of  Castlehaven's  name  for  the 
first  time  in  1686,  in  addition  to  many  of  those  previously 
mentioned.  In  the  following  year  Waller's  Christian 
name,  Edmund,  is  given  correctly ;  but  in  1688  it  dis- 
appears, the  poet  having  died  (at  Beaconsfield)  on  21st 
October  of  the  previous  year.  In  1695  Sir  Csesar  Oran- 
more,  Sir  John  Fenwick,  Sir  James  How  and  Lady 
Bellasis  are  given  as  residents. 

Among  other  clues  to  past  residents  we  have  Philip 
Musgrave,  in  1688 ;  Lord  Townshend,  in  1748 ;  Sir  Robert 
Wilmot,  in  1754  onwards ;  W.  Gerard  Hamilton,  in  1763 ; 
and  Governor  Thomas  Hutchinson,  in  1775,  either  writing 
from,  or  being  addressed  at,  their  lodgings  or  own  houses 
in  St  James's  Street. 

As  we  know,  besides  private  houses  there  were  several 
famous  chocolate-  and  coffee-houses  in  St  James's  Street 
about  this  period,  and  these,  no  doubt,  did  no  little  In 



turning  the  attention  of  commercial  enterprise  to  the 

So  early  as  1686  we  find  Messrs  Nickson  and  Welch,  on 
the  east  side ;  and  Richard  Russell,  at  The  Cock,  reminds 
us  that  taverns  were  not  absent.1  Here  and  there  are 
names,  too,  which  suggest  the  lodging-house  keeper,  cheek 
by  jowl  with  names  that  are  historic  or  at  least  were 
famous  in  their  day. 

Some  ten  years  later  we  find  the  Terrace  first  men- 
tioned in  the  Rate  Books  for  1697,  appearing  in  this 

entry:  "Lord  Arundell Terrace."    It  is  somewhat 

difficult  to  identify  the  exact  position  of  this  terrace. 
From  certain  internal  evidence  in  the  Rate  Books  I  am 
inclined  to  think  it  was  on  the  east  side,  and,  as  we  shall 
see  from  Strype,  it  was  at  the  upper  end  of  the  street ; 
and  that  it  was  a  raised  pavement  before  certain  houses, 
for  convenience  of  entering  the  then  highly  slung  coaches 
and  also  to  avoid  the  splashing  incident  to  the  almost 
perpetual  badness  of  even  the  most  fashionable  streets 
at  that  period. 

The  gradual  development  of  St  James's  Street  is  shown 
by  the  appearance,  in  the  Rate  Book  records,  of  new 
courts  without  any  further  distinguishing  title  than  "A 
Court,"  "New  Passage,"  etc.  A  Mr  Stroud  lived,  in  1695, 
on  the  west  side ;  so  we  have  the  alley  abutting  on  his 
house,  given  as  Stroud 's  Court — a  name  that  has  not  sur- 
vived. Russell's  Court  is  another  that  has  disappeared 
(it  was  formerly  on  the  west  side,  running  into  Cleveland 
Row),  as  have  Villiers  Court,  between  Piccadilly  and 
Jermyn  Street ;  Crown  and  Sceptre  Court  and  Fox  Court, 
between  the  latter  thoroughfare  and  Ryder  Street  (the 

JThe  King  Head,  for  instance,  was  next  door  (south)  to  the 
present  White's  Clubhouse ;  and  at  "  The  Bunch  of  Grapes,"  on 
the  west  side,  "  extraordinary  good  cask  Florence  wine  at  6s.  a 
gallon"  was  sold  in  1711,  according  to  an  advertisement  of  that 



west  end  of  which  was  then  called  Little  Rider  Street), 
and  Gloucester  Court,  between  King  Street  and  Pickering 
Court.  In  fact,  the  last  named  is  one  of  the  few  of  these 
little  outlets  that  have  survived  successive  building  de- 
velopments, and  as  such  is  of  particular  interest,  as  it 
is  (we  shall  see  later)  for  other  reasons. 

Some  of  these  courts  no  doubt  took  their  names  from 
adjacent  signs  belonging  to  taverns  or  business  premises, 
such  as  Crown  and  Sceptre  Court,  Blue  Ball  Yard,  Fox 
Court,  Catherine  Wheel  Yard.  In  1685  King  Street  is 
still  designated  "  in  the  Fields,"  a  reminiscence  of  the  St 
James's  Fields  which  died  hard  in  a  neighbourhood  which 
was  then  recently  more  or  less  rural. 

As  to  what  were  the  taverns  in  St  James's  Street  at  the 
close  of  the  seventeenth  century  it  is  difficult  to  say.  We 
know  with  certainty  of  the  Poet's  Head,  the  poet  probably 
being  Dryden  ;  also  of  the  Horse-Shoe  Ale  House,  because 
in  the  Vernon  MS.  a  certain  Simon  Weld,  evidently  a  spy, 
reports  hearing  one  Cox,  a  plumber,  speaking  favourably 
of  James  II.  here  in  1694.  Weld,  in  the  course  of  his 
"business,"  frequented  such  resorts,  but  his  incidental 
mention  of  The  Goal,  and  The  Dolphin  and  Crown,  "  a 
cook  shop,"  do  not  interest  us,  as  these  places  were  merely 
near  St  James's  Street.  A  "Fox"  is  also  traceable, 
apart  from  Fox  Court  already  referred  to,  as  Captain 
Scott,  in  his  Dixonary  of  Persons  in  France  (1695-1696, 
Jan.  18),  mentions  that  a  Mrs  Middlegast l  in  St  James's 
Street,  "next  doof  to  the  Fox,"  befriended  him  on  one 
occasion.  Whether  The  Dog  and  Duck,  at  which  sign  a 
Mr  Clement  lodged  with  one  Chasie,  and  there  received 
a  letter  from  Rouen,  dated  18th  October  1722,2  was  a 
tavern  or  not  is  uncertain.  There  was  a  well-known  inn 
with  this  sign  in  Hertford  Street,  Mayfair,  and  a  notorious 

1  Evidently  a  lodger,  as  I  cannot  trace  her  in  the  Rate-Books. 
8  Historical  Manuscripts  Commission. 



one  in  St  George's  Fields,  so  their  name  may  possibly 
have  been  attached  to  a  tavern  in  St  James's  Street. 

In  addition  to  the  Rate  Books,  some  further  information 
of  a  more  or  less  general  kind  concerning  the  earlier 
history  of  St  James's  Street  can  be  gleaned  from  the 
Calendar  of  State  Papers  and  the  Historical  Manuscripts 
Commission.  In  the  earlier  entries  in  the  former  of  these 
authorities  we  shall  find  nothing  more  particular  to  our 
purpose  than  what  is  entered  under  the  heading  of  St 
James's  Fields,  so  that  when,  for  instance,  John  Sharpe 
is  mentioned  as  owning  a  house  in  St  James's  Fields  in 
1630,  or  when,  five  years  later,  Archibald  Lumsden  is 
granted  the  sole  right  to  sell  "Malls,"  balls  and  scoops 
"  and  other  necessaries  for  the  game  of  Pall  Mall,"  within 
his  grounds  in  St  James's  Fields,  we  can  only  assume  such 
and  similar  entries  to  refer  generally  to  the  area  on  which 
St  James's  Square  and  its  adjacent  thoroughfare  stand, 
and  only  possibly  to  that  western  portion  which  is  now 
St  James's  Street.  But  even  if  it  cannot  be  proved  that 
such  references  are  actually  connected  with  the  embryo 
thoroughfare,  at  the  same  time  they  deal  with  its  imme- 
diate neighbourhood,  and  one  or  two  of  them,  for  this 
reason,  as  well  as  for  their  intrinsic  interest,  deserve  record 

Thus,  on  llth  July  1603  we  find  an  order  for  deferring 
St  James's  Fair,  then  held  in  the  open  space  near  St 
James's  Palace,  and  afterwards  in  St  James's  Market,  on 
account  of  the  Plague ;  and,  again,  on  12th  June  1636, 
being  put  off,  it  then  being  "held  on  St  James's  Day, 
near  his  Majesty's  house  at  St  James's." 

In  1665  we  know  that  this  fair,  which  was  carried  on 
"  in  the  road  near  the  House  of  St  James's,"  but  whether 
in  Pall  Mall  or  St  James's  Street  is  a  question  (I  rather 
incline  to  the  former),  was  ordered  to  be  transferred  to 
St  James's  Market.  It  had  become  a  nuisance  to  the 



royal  residence,  and  thus  may  have  extended  to  the 
junction  of  Pall  Mall  and  St  James's  Street. 

In  Strype's  time  it  had  blossomed  into  the  Mayfair  of 
many  stories,  having  been  transferred,  according  to  that 
authority,  to  "  the  road  leading  to  Tyburn." 

So  much  for  the  fair,  which  only  indirectly  interests  us 
here.  Return  we  to  the  Calendar  of  State  Papers,  where, 
under  date  of  26th  October  1638,  I  find  a  communication 
from  Inigo  Jones  to  the  Council,  in  which  the  great  archi- 
tect reports  that,  "  according  to  your  order  of  the  19th 
inst.  concerning  the  divisions  made  in  several  parts  of 
St  James's  Fields,  and  a  bridge  of  bricks  begun  for  the 
passage  of  carts  into  the  said  field,  I  have  spoken  with 
Archibald  Lumsdale  [Lumsden,  mentioned  before],  the 
tenant,  and  showed  him  your  order  for  demolishing  the 
bridge,  &c.,  all  of  which  he  has  undertaken  shall  be  done 
by  Thursday  next." 

An  entry  more  directly  bearing  on  our  subject  is  the 
following: — "Aug.  14th,  1656.  Order  for  staying  of 
building  in  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields  and  St  James's  Fields. 
Gabriel  Beck  to  see  to  this,"  as  it  is  probable  that  part  of 
that  building  was  the  development  of  St  James's  Street 
itself,  which,  as  we  have  seen,  first  appears  as  a  regular 
street  about  three  years  later. 

The  forming  of  the  street  naturally  required  that  the 
water  supply  should  be  put  on  a  proper  footing,  and  on 
16th  May  1664  we  accordingly  have  the  "Petition  of 
Fras :  Williamson  and  Ralph  Wayne  to  the  King,  for 
leave  to  convey  to  the  inhabitants  of  Piccadilly,  St 
James's  Fields,  Hay  market  and  the  neighbourhood, 
water  from  springs  which  they  have  found  near,  they 
compounding  with  the  inhabitants  at  reasonable  rates,  on 
account  of  the  great  expense  they  have  been  at  in  the  new 
invention  of  an  engine  which  by  perpetual  motion  will 
drain  level  or  mines,  though  50  fathoms  deep,  for  which 



they  have  already  a  licence."  They  duly  received  the 
required  powers,  as  is  shown  by  an  entry  of  25th  June  of 
the  same  year.  On  the  previous  81st  May  another  entry 
referring  to  the  same  subject  is  interesting  as  introducing 
the  name  of  one  of  the  earliest  inhabitants  in  St  James's 
Street :  "  Certificate  to  Sir  W.  Pulteney,  that  Mr  William- 
son and  Mr  Wayne  have  agreed  with  him  for  the  use  of  the 
springs  near  Piccadilly  which  he  holds  for  the  Earl  of  St 
Albans  ;  that  the  work  will  be  very  useful,  and  that  there 
will  be  no  occasion  to  come  on  any  man's  land  excepting 
the  Earl's,  who  consents  thereto." 

In  July  1672  we  have  the  first  mention  by  name  of  St 
James's  Street  in  the  Calendar  of  State  Papers.  It  runs 
thus :  "  Grant  to  Sir  John  Buncombe,  in  fee  simple,  of 
four  messuages  with  their  gardens  in  St  James's  Street, 
county  of  Middlesex,  in  reversion  after  the  determination 
of  the  existing  leases  thereof."  Two  years  later  a  warrant 
of  18th  August,  after  reciting  gifts  of  King's  land  in  St 
James's  to  Lord  St  Albans,  proceeds :  "  The  said  warrant 
also  directs  a  grant  to  be  made  to  my  lord  and  Col.  Villiers 
of  the  inheritance  of  19  small  tenements  in  St  James's 
Street  looking  into  St  James's  Park."  The  Colonel 
Villiers  here  mentioned  is  the  gentleman  after  whom 
Villiers  Court  was  named.  When  the  warrant  speaks  of 
the  nineteen  tenements  **  looking  Into  St  James's  Park," 
it  is  clear  that  these  houses  were  on  the  west  side  of  the 
street  and  abutted  on  what  is  now  the  Green  Park,  but 
which,  in  those  days,  was  part  and  parcel  of  St  James's 
Park.  It  is  sometimes  found  referred  to  as  the  Upper 
Park,  St  James's,  and  also  as  Upper  St  James's  Park. 

Two  other  entries  of  a  later  period,  in  the  State  Papers, 
are  also  of  interest :  one,  dated  27th  January  1690,  reveals 
the  existence  of  a  pillory  in  St  James's  Street,  in  connec- 
tion with  one  Peter  Roman  having  been  sentenced  to 
stand  there,  but  whose  punishment,  for  some  reason  or 



other,  was  subsequently  remitted.  It  is  not  quite  clear 
where  this  pillory  stood ;  when  it  was  set  up ;  or  when 
removed.  It  may  possibly  have  been  but  a  temporary 
erection  and  was  in  all  probability  fixed  at  the  bottom  of 
St  James's  Street.  At  this  period  Jacobites  were  busy 
concocting  schemes  for  the  restoration  of  the  exiled  king, 
and  as  St  James's  is  known  to  have  been  a  hotbed  of 
sedition  then  and  later,  when  the  Stuart  cause  was  again 
to  the  front,  the  pillory  may  have  been  erected  for  such 
breakers  of  the  law.  An  entry  in  the  State  Papers  for 
15th  August  1691  has,  I  think,  some  bearing  on  this 
matter.  It  runs  thus :  "  Caveat  that  no  pass  be  granted 
to  Charles  Caldecote,  an  infant  about  15  years  of  age, 
till  notice  be  given  to  Madame  Cartwright  at  Mr  Huddle- 
ston's  house  in  St  James's  Street."  Tristram  Huddle- 
stone  is  given  as  living  on  the  west'  side,  two  doors  from 
Stable  Yard,  in  the  Rate  Books  for  1685,  and  he  had,  later, 
as  neighbour,  Sir  John  Fenwick.1  Both  these  names  have 
such  a  Jacobite  ring  about  them  that  they  may  fitly 
introduce  certain  references  to  such  disloyal  people  who, 
in  those  days,  resided  in  or  frequented  St  James's  Street. 
In  the  Buccleuch  MSS.  2  we  find  allusions  to  the  Nag's 
Head  in  St  James's  Street  as  being  coupled  curiously  with 
the  Prince  of  Orange's  Head  in  Jermyn  Street,  as  a  resort 
of  Jacobite  plotters  at  the  close  of  the  seventeenth 
century ;  and,  later,  letters  from  disaffected  people  can  be 
traced  to  St  James's  Street  and  its  neighbourhood.  It  is 
probable,  therefore,  that  the  pillory  was  kept  fairly  well 
supplied  with  tenants  at  a  period  when  spies  were  ram- 
pant, and  must  have  taken  more  than  usual  trouble  to  run 
to  earth  malcontents  at  the  very  gates  of  the  royal  palace. 
We  know  that  on  the  death  of  Queen  Anne,  Atterbury 
offered  to  go  down  in  front  of  St  James's  Palace,  in  full 

1  See  later,  for  account  of  Fenwick. 

2  Historical  Manuscripts  Commission. 



Episcopal  dress,  and  proclaim  James  III.  as  king,1  and 
how,  when  the  Tory  ministry  hesitated,  the  Bishop  de- 
plored, in  anything  but  Episcopal  language,  the  loss  of  an 
opportunity  which  he  regarded  as  in  the  highest  degree 
favourable  to  the  Pretender's  cause.  Atterbury  knew  his 
London  well  and,  no  doubt,  was  cognisant  of  the  strong 
Tory  feelings  of  the  inhabitants  of  St  James's  Street  and 
its  vicinity. 

When  George  I.  had  been  safely  proclaimed  and  in- 
numerable arrests  of  disaffected  people  were  taking  place, 
one  of  the  houses  visited  was  Ozinda's  Chocolate  House 
at  the  bottom  of  the  thoroughfare,  near  the  Palace,  and 
the  inhabitants  saw  with  no  little  alarm  Mr  Ozinda  led 
away  captive,  followed  by  Captain  Forde  and  Sir  Richard 
Vivyan,  two  well-known  habitues  of  the  place. 

Having  traced  in  a  more  or  less  general  way  the  early 
development  of  St  James's  Street,  by  the  aid  of  the  plans, 
Rate  Books,  Calendar  of  State  Papers  and  other  sources, 
which  can,  however,  only  be  regarded  as,  at  best,  indirect 
information,  let  us  see  what  later  London  topographers 
and  cartographers  have  to  say  about  it.  In  the  case  of 
such  authorities  Stow  always  takes  precedence.  In  the 
present  instance,  of  course,  this  can  hardly  be,  as  Stow 
never  knew  St  James's  Street  as  such,  although  he  may 
possibly  have  wandered  along  the  then  rural  road  which 
ran  roughly  over  its  present  tracks.  But  Strype's  edition 
of  Stow,  brought  down  to  the  eighteenth  century,  suffers 
under  no  such  disabilities,  and  consequently  we  find  not 
only  mention  of  the  thoroughfare  but  some  extremely 
interesting  and  valuable  references  to  it  in  the  second  of 
those  two  weighty  volumes,  which  first  appeared  in  1720, 
and,  in  a  more  complete  form,  in  1754. 

"  St  James's  Street,"  writes  Strype,  "  beginneth  at  the 
Palace  of  St  James's,  and  runs  up  to  the  Road  against 
1  Doran's  London  in  the  Jacobite  Times. 


Albemarle  Buildings,  being  a  spacious  Street,  with  very 
good  Houses  well  inhabited  by  Gentry :  At  the  upper 
End  of  which  towards  the  Road  are  the  best,  having  be- 
fore them  a  Terrace  Walk  ascended  by  steps,  with  a  Free- 
stone Pavement.  Out  of  this  Street,  on  the  West  Side, 
it  hath  a  Passage  into  these  Places,  fronting  the  Pall  Mall. 
A  Passage  to  Cleveland  Court,  formerly  one  large  House, 
and  called  Berkshire  House,  which  being  purchased  by 
the  Dutchesse  of  Cleveland,  took  her  name  ;  now  severed 
into  several  Houses,  the  chief  of  which  is  now  inhabited 
by  the  Earl  of  Nottingham  ;  and  here  are  two  other  small 
Courts  against  the  Earl  of  Baths.  Then  in  the  said  Street 
is  a  Yard  for  Stablings,  with  some  Houses  which  run  down 
to  St  James's  Park  Walls." 

From  this  passage  we  learn  that  St  James's  Street  was, 
in  its  early  days,  practically  wholly  a  residential  thorough- 
fare ;  we  also  observe  that  the  Terrace,  where  we  have 
seen  from  the  Rate  Books  that  Lord  Arundel  was  living 
in  1697,  was  at  the  Piccadilly  end  of  the  street,  and  that 
steps  led  to  it  from  the  roadway.  There  were,  as  we  know, 
several  courts  out  of  St  James's  Street  on  the  east  side ; 
but  the  one  specifically  mentioned  by  Strype  as  leading 
into  places  fronting  the  Pall  Mall  was  probably  Little  King 
Street,  the  buildings  on  the  south  side  of  which  abutted 
on  the  backs  of  the  houses  in  Pall  Mall,  as  they  now  do. 

The  difficulty  about  tracing  any  particular  West  End 
street  in  early  books  on  London  is  that,  in  the  first  place, 
the  writers  generally  restrict  their  investigations  to 
churches,  public  buildings  and  the  general  history  of  the 
city,  and  content  themselves  with  but  a  bare  mention  of 
the  streets ;  and,  secondly,  that  when  they  do  enlarge  on 
these  we  find  only  streets  in  the  east  or  central  part  of 
London  dealt  with,  the  western  area  being  then  but 
recently  built,  and  thus  not  being  deemed,  apparently, 
worthy  of  an  antiquary's  notice.  The  consequence  is 



that  the  early  history  of  St  James's  Street  is,  at  best, 
vague  and  scrappy.  Here  and  there  we  get  glimpses,  so 
to  speak,  of  it,  however ;  and  with  these  we  must,  perforce, 
be  content.  Thus,  the  Sieur  de  la  Serre,  a  learned  gentle- 
man who  came  over  to  this  country  in  the  suite  of  Marie 
de  Medicis  in  1638,  in  speaking  of  St  James's  Palace, 
remarks  that  "  its  great  gate  has  a  long  street  in  front, 
reaching  almost  out  of  sight,  seemingly  joining  to  the 
fields."  This  passage  is  interesting,  as  it  is  the  earliest 
reference  we  have  to  St  James's  Street  as  a  roadway. 

In  Norden's  Notes  on  London  and  Westminster,  dated 
1592,  we  get  a  vignette  of  the  place  under  more  rural  con- 
ditions, for,  describing  St  James's  Palace,  the  topographer 
says :  "It  standeth  from  other  buyldinges,  about  2  fur- 
longe,  saving  a  ferme  house  opposite  agaynste  the  north 
gate,"  and,  he  adds,  the  prospect  on  the  north  is  over 
"  grene  feeldes."  The  mention  of  the  farm  is  particularly 
interesting,  as  it  may  possibly  be  identical  with  the  build- 
ings which  stood  at  the  south-east  corner  of  St  James's 
Street  and  formed  the  nucleus  of  the  building  develop- 
ment in  that  thoroughfare.  The  open  fields  spoken  of 
by  Norden  are  indicated  in  Hollar's  view  of  St  James's 
Palace  as  it  appeared  so  much  later  as  1660,  although  by 
that  time  some  of  its  rural  character  must  have  departed 
at  the  advent  of  houses  and  the  formation  of  the  street 
proper,  the  Statute  of  13  &  14  Charles  II.,  dated  1661-1662, 
already  referred  to,  proving  that  man  was  here  already 
obliterating  nature. 

The  fine  series  of  London  maps  which  we  possess  helps 
us  to  some  extent,  although  not  so  much  as  one  could 
wish,  in  tracing  the  gradual  development  of  St  James's 
Street.  We  have  already  alluded  to  Wyngaerde's  plan, 
which  is,  at  best,  in  this  connection,  but  an  uncertain 
guide.  In  Faithorne's  plan,  dated  1658,  however,  we  see, 
for  the  first  time,  St  James's  Street  well  defined.  By 


this  we  observe  Berkshire  House  at  the  south-west  corner 
of  the  thoroughfare,  with  its  gardens  running  a  little  more 
than  half-way  up  the  street,  the  remaining  portion  on  the 
west  side  being  part  and  parcel  of  the  Park.  On  the  east 
side,  opposite  Berkshire  House,  at  the  south-east  corner, 
a  range  of  buildings  extends  up  the  street  for  a  distance 
equal  to  about  a  third  of  the  length  of  Berkshire  House 
and  its  gardens.  The  remainder  of  the  ground  on  this 
side  is  shown  as  open  fields  (St  James's  Fields),  bounded 
by  Piccadilly  on  the  north  and  the  Haymarket  on  the 
east.  At  the  south  end  of  these  fields  a  double  row  of 
trees  runs  parallel  with  Pall  Mall,  and  above  them  are 
written  the  words  "  Pall  Mall,"  which,  I  imagine,  indicates 
that  here  the  game  was  then  played.  Porter's  smaller 
plan,  dated  1660,  is  practically  identical  with  Faithorne's, 
except  (which  does  not,  however,  really  concern  us)  that 
behind  the  double  row  of  trees  a  wooden  paling,  running 
their  entire  length  and  passing  through  about  the  centre 
of  St  James's  Square,  is  shown. 

By  the  time  Morden  and  Lea  issued  their  large  and 
elaborate  plan  in  1682,  the  appearance  of  St  James's  Street 
had  greatly  altered.  Taking  first  the  west  side,  we  find 
the  grounds  of  Berkshire  House  entirely  covered  with 
houses,  the  remaining  portion  on  the  north,  however, 
being  still  part  of  St  James's  Park  (now  the  Green  Park) 
before  the  formation  of  Bennet  and  Arlington  Streets 
(1689)  which  were  built  on  that  part  of  this  vacant  land 
granted  by  Charles  II.  to  Henry  Bennet,  Earl  of  Arlington, 
by  deed,  dated  6th  February  1681. l 

On  the  east  side  of  St  James's  Street  we  see,  by  Morden 
and  Lea,  that  houses  had  by  now  been  erected  along  its 

1  Lord  Arlington  sold  this  land,  the  same  year,  to  a  Mr  Pym, 
who  apparently  formed  the  streets,  and  himself  occupied,  for  many 
years,  the  largest  house  in  Arlington  Street.  See  Lives  of  the 
Norths,  vol.  iii.,  p.  210. 



entire  length ;  but  although  King  Street  and  Jermyn  Street 
are  shown,  there  is  no  connection  indicated  between  them 
and  St  James's  Street.  We  know,  however,  that  in  both 
cases  a  narrow  passage  joined  them,  this  passage  being 
enlarged  into  the  present  continuation  of  the  thorough- 
fare. In  1682  the  west  portion  of  Jermyn  Street  was 
called  Little  St  Jermyn  Street  and  the  east  Great  St 
Jermyn  Street.  In  nearly  every  case  the  houses  shown 
by  Morden  and  Lea  have  a  space,  probably  a  court  or 
garden,  between  their  frontages  and  St  James's  Street. 
This  would  account  for  Pickering  Place  not  being  marked, 
as  that  court  only  came  into  existence  apparently  when 
rebuilding  brought  the  houses  right  up  to  the  street,  and 
any  of  the  older  ones  left  standing  behind  were  connected 
with  it  by  such  alleys.  This  raises  the  interesting  point : 
that  we  may,  I  believe,  regard  the  house  in  Pickering 
Court,  facing  the  entrance,  as  one  of  those  originally 
standing  in  St  James's  Street  itself.  Crown  Court  (no 
longer  existing,  but  then  situated  between  Pickering 
Court  and  what  is  now  King  Street)  is  shown  and  rather 
confirms  what  I  suggest. 

From  Kip's  quasi  bird's-eye  view  of  London,  published 
in  1710-1720,  we  are  able  to  judge,  more  or  less,  of  the 
effect  produced  by  the  completely  built-over  street — that 
is,  so  far  as  concerns  the  fronts  of  the  houses  on  the  east 
and  the  backs  of  those  on  the  west  side.  We  see  the  pass- 
age into  King  Street,  but  hardly  as  narrow  as  is  usually 
supposed  ;  indeed,  Kip  makes  it  look  like  a  continuation 
of  the  thoroughfare  as  it  is  to-day.  The  garden,  of  which 
we  have  not  only  written  record,  but  a  special  picture,  at 
the  back  of  the  premises  occupied  by  White's  Club,  on  the 
west  side,  is  clearly  shown,  as  are  the  houses  in  St  James's 
Place  (Stable  Yard  then),  a  street  then  running  straight 
to  the  Park  wall,  with  gardens  behind  those  on  the  south 
side.  The  houses  in  St  James's  Street  itself  are  of  regular 
c  33 


elevation,  most  of  them  having  mansard  roofs;  one,  at 
the  south-east  corner  of  the  thoroughfare,  seems  to  have 
the  indication  of  a  sign  hanging  before  it,  although  in  the 
engraving  it  is  not  very  clearly  defined,  and  it  is  quite 
impossible  to  distinguish  what  it  represents. 

By  the  time  we  reach  Rocque's  famous  map  (1741-1745) 
we  find  the  street  in  a  matured  state  and  its  tributary 
thoroughfares,  as  they  exist  to-day,  clearly  marked. 

There  is  one  plan  about  which  I  must  say  a  word,  be- 
cause it  directly  concerns  my  subject,  and  also  because  it 
shows  very  clearly  the  division  of  the  two  parishes  through 
which  St  James's  Street  runs.  This  is  the  plan  of  the 
parish  of  St  George's,  Hanover  Square,  dated  1725,  and 
now  in  the  possession  of  the  Vestry,  which  caused  it  to  be 
reproduced  in  1880.  By  it  we  see  that  the  whole  of  St 
James's  Street  is  in  the  parish  of  St  James's,  except  that 
portion  of  the  west  side  extending  from  Piccadilly  to  Park 
Place  (the  line  of  demarcation  running  along  the  front  of 
the  houses  in  the  thoroughfare,  turning  into  Park  Place 
and  continuing  in  a  straight  line  to  the  Park  wall,  from 
which  point  it  turns  northward,  skirting  the  wall  until  it 
reaches  Piccadilly,  when  it  proceeds  westward  along  the 
railings  of  the  Green  Park),  which  is  in  the  parish  of  St 
George's,  and  forms  a  square  cut  out  of  the  neighbouring 
parish ;  in  which  square  are  Arlington  and  Bennet  streets 
and  the  houses  on  the  north  side  of  Park  Place. 

The  outlines  of  the  parish  of  St  James's  are  thus  given 
in  the  Statute  which  confirmed  them.  The  parish  then 
comprehended  "  all  the  houses  and  grounds,  including  a 
place  heretofore  called  St  James's  Fields,  and  the  -confines 
thereof,  beginning  at  a  house  at  the  south  side  of  the  east 
end  of  Catherine  (alias  Pall  Mall)  street ;  the  south  of 
the  roadway,  called  Tyburn  road,  westward,  to  a  house, 
being  the  sign  of  the  Plough,  at  the  north-west  corner  of  a 
lane,  called  Mary-le-bone  Lane,  including  the  said  house ; 



and  from  thence  proceeding  southward,  on  the  east  side 
of  the  lane  to  the  north- west  corner  of  Crabtree  Fields, 
comprehending  the  same;  and  the  ground  from  thence 
westward,  to  the  north-west  corner  of  Ten  Acre  Field,  in 
the  occupation  of  Richard,  Earl  of  Burlington,  or  his 
assigns,  including  that  field,  and  the  highway  between  the 
same ;  and  the  garden  wall  of  the  said  Earl  of  Burlington, 
to  the  north-west  corner  of  the  said  garden  wall,  including 
that  garden,  and  the  mansion  house  of  the  said  Earl  of 
Burlington,  fronting  Portugal  Street.  Towards  St  James's 
House,  to  the  middle  channel  on  the  south  side  of  a  new 
street  called  Park  Place,1  comprehending  all  the  east  side 
of  St  James's  Street  to  St  James's  House,  and  all  the  west 
side  thereof,  from  the  said  middle  downwards,  as  far  as 
the  same  extends,  and  including  the  south  side  of  Park 
Place  to  Cleveland  gardens,  comprehending  the  same,  and 
Cleveland  House,  and  out-buildings;  and  also  the  street 
which  leads  from  the  outward  gate  of  the  said  house,  and 
thence  to  the  said  Pall  Mall  street,  comprehending  all  the 
buildings  and  yards  backward  to  the  wall,  which  encloses 
part  of  St  James's  Park,  which  hath  been  lately  made  into 
a  garden,  extending  to  a  house  inhabited  by  Anthony 
Verrio,  painter ;  and  the  late  Leonard  Girle,  gardener ; 
and  from  thence  to  the  house  and  garden  of  Thomas, 
Earl  of  Sussex,  including  the  same,  together  with  the 
south  side  of  Warwick  street  to  the  White  Hart  Inn 

When,  in  1725,  the  parish  of  St  George's,  Hanover 

Square,  was  formed,  it  took  in  (as  I  have  pointed  out)  the 

west  side  of  St  James's  Street,  from  Piccadilly  to  Park 

Place,  the  boundary  line  running  through  the  middle  of 

the  latter  and  passing  straight  through  to  the  Green  Park, 

where  it  returned  northwards  along  the  walls  of  the  gardens 

belonging  to  the  houses  in  Arlington  Street  up  to  Piccadilly 

1  Formed  1683. 



again.    The  section  of  the  plan  of  the  parish,  dated  1725, 
here  given  will  illustrate  this. 

This  chapter  may  suitably  be  concluded  with  the  follow- 
ing reference  to  St  James's  Street  as  it  was  at  this 
period,  together  with  a  letter  facetiously  indicative  of  its 
desagremens  half-a-century  earlier,  taken  from  Malcolm's 
Anecdotes,  published  in  1810 : — 

"As  St  James's  Street  now  is,  nothing  can  be  more 
convenient  than  the  gradual  declination  from  Piccadilly 
to  the  Palace.  That  the  houses  on  each  side  of  the  way 
have  been  almost  entirely  rebuilt  since  the  year  1765, 
will  pretty  plainly  appear  from  the  ensueing  lively  paper 
inserted  in  'The  London  Chronicle,'  Aug.  15,  1765 : 

"  'We  have  read  a  great  deal  in  your  paper  about  Liberty, 
Mr  Printer ;  give  me  leave  to  say  a  word  or  two  about 
Property,  which,  talk  as  they  please,  the  greatest  part  of 
mankind  reckon  the  most  valuable  of  the  two.  Our 
sensible  forefathers,  in  framing  the  Streets  of  this  great 
City,  preferred  utility  to  ornament ;  and,  in  St  James's 
Street,  they  were  very  industrious,  that  the  paving  of  that 
uneven  ground  should  not  prejudice  the  property  of  any 
individual. — Their  wiser  sons  have  wished  to  reverse  this 
practice,  and  have  been  full  as  industrious  in  conforming 
the  buildings  to  the  Scotch  paving.  The  descent  from  the 
upper  to  the  lower  end  of  this  street  being  so  very  steep, 
has  brought  very  whimsical  distresses  upon  many  of  the 
inhabitants — some  of  the  ground  floors,  that  were  almost 
level  with  the  street,  are  now  eight,  nine,  and  some  ten 
steps,  and  those  very  steep,  from  the  ground ;  while 
others,  to  which  you  used  to  ascend  by  three  or  four  steps, 
are  now  as  many  below  the  surface.  Cellars  are  now 
above  ground  and  some  gentlemen  are  forced  to  dive  into 
their  own  parlours.  Many  laughable  accidents,  too,  have 
happened  from  this  new  method  of  turning  the  world 



upside  down :  some  persons,  not  thinking  of  the  late  altera- 
tions, attempting  to  knock  at  their  own  door,  have  fre- 
quently tumbled  up  their  new-erected  steps,  while  others, 
who  have  been  used  to  ascend  to  their  threshold,  have  as 
often,  for  the  same  reason,  tumbled  down  ;  and  their  fall 
had  been  the  greater,  from  their  lifting  up  their  legs  to 
ascend  as  usual.  An  old  gouty  friend  of  mine  complains 
heavily ;  he  has  lain,  he  says,  upon  the  ground-floor  for 
these  ten  years,  and  he  chose  the  house  he  lives  in  because 
there  was  no  step  to  the  door ;  and  now  he  is  obliged  to 
mount  at  least  nine,  before  he  can  get  into  his  bedchamber, 
and  the  entrance  into  his  house  is  at  the  one  pair  of  stairs. 
A  neighbour,  too,  complains  he  has  lost  a  good  lodger,  be- 
cause he  refused  to  lower  the  price  of  his  first  floor,  which 
the  gentleman  insisted  he  ought,  as  the  lodgings  are  now 
up  two  pair  of  stairs.  Many  of  the  street  doors  are  not 
above  five  feet  high ;  and  the  owners,  when  they  enter 
their  houses,  seem  as  if  they  were  going  into  a  dog-kennel 
rather  than  their  own  habitations.  To  say  the  truth,  no 
fault  can  be  imputed  to  the  trustees :  but  many  are  great 
sufferers  ;  and  this  method  of  making  the  houses  conform 
to  the  ornamental  paving,  is  something  like  the  practice 
of  Procrustes,  the  robber,  who  made  a  bed  of  certain 
dimensions,  and  whoever  was  put  into  it,  had  his  legs  cut 
shorter  if  they  were  too  long,  or  stretched  out  if  they  were 
too  short,  till  the  poor  wretch  was  precisely  of  the  length 
with  the  bed. 
•  " '  I  am,  Sir,  Yours  &c. 




As  we  have  seen,  the  earliest  erections  in  St  James's  Street 
were  on  the  east  side,  and  consisted  of  the  row  of  low-built 
houses  which  ran  up  from  the  south-east  corner  opposite 
the  gardens  of  Berkshire  House.  I  have  mentioned  that 
in  Kip's  Plan  of  1710  the  corner  house  appears  to  have  a 
sign  hanging  from  its  front.  Although  it  is  not  clear  what 
this  represents,  I  think  we  may  assume  from  the  position  of 
the  building  at  the  street  corner  that  it  was  in  all  prob- 
ability the  sign  of  a  tavern.  This  being  so,  conjecture  can, 
perhaps,  identify  it  with  the  Poet's  Head,  which  was  kept 
by  one  Edward  Smith,  who  duly  issued  a  token  in  the 
year  1693.  As  this  token  exhibits  a  head  crowned  with 
bays  it  has  been  assumed  that  it  perpetuates  the  features 
of  Dryden.  At  the  same  time  we  may  suppose  that  any 
representation  of  a  poet  would  have  borne  this  distinctive 
characteristic  ;  and  a  better  reason  for  its  being  identified 
with  Dryden  is  the  fact  that,  at  this  period,  he  was  the 
great  literary  figure  in  London  and  was  more  likely  to  be 
selected  as  a  "  sign  "  than  any  other  bard. 

In  1691  another  tradesman  issued  a  token  in  St  James's 
Street,  notably  one  Robert  Noris,  a  glover,  whose  trade- 
mark was,  appropriately,  a  glove.  I  am  inclined  to  place 
his  shop  somewhere  at  the  lower  end  of  the  street,  on  the 
east  side ;  but  greater  particularity  is  impossible. 

In  the  year  1793  No.  3  St  James's  Street  is  given  as  being 
in  the  occupation  of  Messrs  Brown  &  Willes.  Later 



C.  Berry's  name  appeared  over  the  doorway  (with 
its  fanlight),  flanked  by  two  Georgian  windows,  as  it 
appears  in  a  caricature  dated  1810,  and  redolent  of 
those  Regency  days  which  Deighton  and  others  have  so 
well  perpetuated.  The  premises  next  door,  No.  2,  were  at 
this  time  kept  by  Thomas  Williams,  china-man.  No.  4, 
until  a  few  years  since  the  well-known  business  premises 
of  Mr  Francis  Harvey,  the  book  and  print  seller,  so 
familiar  to  what  the  French  call  amateurs  in  fine  books 
and  extra  illustrated  editions,  as  well  as  in  prints  and 
engravings,  was  in  1740  the  home  of  William  Pickering,  a 
prosperous  merchant,  who  acquired  much  of  the  adjoining 
property  and  whose  name  is  perpetuated  in  Pickering 
Place,  one  of  the  most  interesting  byways  in  the  West 
End  of  London.  It  was  Pickering  who  employed  Francis 
Hayman,  the  portrait  painter,  to  decorate  his  private 
rooms  in  this  house,  with  frescoes  representing  scenes 
from  Don  Quixote  (since  destroyed).  After  Pickering 
No.  4  came  into  the  occupation  of  James  Neild,  who  is 
given  as  living  here  in  Kent's  Directory  for  1792.  In  a 
later  chapter  I  shall  return  to  Neild,  and  his  eccentric  son, 
who  was  born  in  this  house  and  whose  bequest  of  £50,000 
to  Queen  Victoria  in  1852,  has  largely  helped  to  make  his 
name  famous.  In  the  Patent  Directory  of  1793  Mr  Neild, 
senior,  is  entered  as  a  "  silversmith." 

Two  notable  names  appear  in  an  abstract  of  title,  dated 
1710,  of  these  premises.  I  need  only  give  the  extract 
which  relates  to  "  all  that  annual  Fee  Farm  Rent  of  £80 
arising  out  of  divers  pieces  and  slips  of  ground  then  within 
St  James's  Parish  and  late  within  the  Parish  of  St  Martin's 
in  the  Fields,  granted  by  letters  patent  of  his  late  majesty, 
King  Charles  2nd  in  the  17th  year  of  his  reign  to  Baptist 
May  and  Abraham  Cowley,  in  trust  for  Henry,  Earl  of 
St  Albans." 

Baptist  May  was  the  well-known  architect,  the  friend  of 



John  Evelyn  and  Keeper  of  the  Privy  Purse  to  Charles  II. ; 
his  combined  names  survive  in  Babmaes  (or,  more  properly, 
Babmay 's l)  Mews,  in  Wells  Street,  Jermyn  Street.  Abraham 
Cowley  was,  of  course,  the  famous  poet  whose  name  reads 
strangely  in  the  dry  phraseology  of  a  lawyer's  office. 

An  interesting  reminder  of  what  the  front  of  No.  4  St 
James's  Street  looked  like  forty  odd  years  ago,  is  shown  by 
the  little  etching  which  George  Cruikshank  produced  for 
Mr  Harvey,  which  still  remains  in  the  possession  of  his 
son  and  successor. 

Two  doors  farther  up  the  street,  notably  at  No.  6,  we 
come  to  the  premises  of  Messrs  Lock,  the  hatters.  In  1793 
James  Lock's  name  appears  in  the  Directory,  and  the 
shop  front  which  most  of  us  know  to-day  probably  looks 
exactly  as  it  must  have  done  to  our  forbears  when 
George  III.  was  king. 

Next  door  (No.  7)  to  Messrs  Lock's  was,  in  1793,  the 
shop  of  W.  Walker,  perfumer.  As  Francis  Kelsey,  con- 
fectioner, is  also  given  as  at  No.  7,  he  probably  occupied 
the  ground  floor,  while  Walker  was  upstairs.  The  James 
Matthias  who  kept  an  ostrich  feather  warehouse  in  St 
James's  Street,  in  1793,  and  Mr  Richard  Wetenhall,  a  stock- 
broker, both  possibly  occupied  premises  on  the  same  side,  at 
the  south  end,  although  no  numbers  are  given  in  their  case. 

No.  8  has  a  far  more  notable  connection,  for  it  was  when 
lodging  there,  at  the  close  of  1811  and  in  1812,  that  Lord 
Byron,  in  his  own  words,  "  awoke  one  morning  to  find 
himself  famous,"  after  the  publication  of  the  second  and 
third  cantos  of  Childe  Harold.  Since  those  days  a  story 
has  been  added  to  the  house,  and  it  has  been  otherwise 
altered,  but  a  large  medallion  on  its  front  commemorates  its 
connection  with  the  poet.  This  was  not  the  first  time  that 
Byron  had  lodged  here,  for  so  early  as  1808  we  find  him 

1  So  given  by  Elmes  in  his  Topographical  Dictionary  of  London, 



at  this  address,  and  it  was  from  this  house,  in  1809,  that  he 
went  for  the  first  time  to  take  his  seat  in  the  House  of  Lords. 

Dallas  has  left  the  following  account  of  the  incident : — 
"On  that  day  [March  13th],  passing  down  St  James's  Street, 
but  with  no  intention  of  calling,  I  saw  his  chariot  at  his 
door,  and  went  in.  His  countenance,  paler  than  usual, 
showed  that  his  mind  was  agitated,  and  that  he  was 
thinking  of  the  nobleman l  to  whom  he  had  once  looked 
for  a  hand  and  countenance  in  his  introduction  to  the 
House.  He  said  to  me :  'I  am  glad  you  happened  to 
come  in ;  I  am  going  to  take  my  seat,  perhaps  you  will 
go  with  me.'  I  expressed  my  readiness  to  attend  him; 
while,  at  the  same  time,  I  concealed  the  shock  I  felt  on 
thinking  that  this  young  man,  who,  by  birth,  fortune,  and 
talent,  stood  high  in  life,  should  have  lived  so  unconnected 
and  neglected  by  persons  of  his  own  rank,  that  there  was 
not  a  single  member  of  the  senate  to  which  he  belonged, 
to  whom  he  could  or  would  apply  to  introduce  him  in 
a  manner  becoming  his  birth.  I  saw  that  he  felt  the 
situation,  and  I  fully  partook  his  indignation."  2 

We  find  letters  from  Byron,  to  his  mother  and  others, 
dated  from  No.  8,  during  1809.  At  a  later  period,  as  we 
shall  see,  he  was  living  in  Bennet  Street. 

No.  10,  which  has  recently  been  converted  into  the 
headquarters  of  Messrs  Peters,  the  carriage  builders,  but 
was  formerly  Rumpelmeyers  and  before  that  a  club  and 
a  coachbuilder's  in  turn,  was  in  the  early  days  of  Queen 
Victoria's  reign  the  St  James's  Bazaar,  which  Crockford 
had  built,  looking,  as  we  can  see  from  Tallis's  elevation, 
not  unlike  it  does  to-day. 

The  mention  of  Tallis  brings  me  naturally  to  a  con- 
sideration of  this  portion  of  St  James's  Street  as  it  ap- 
pears in  his  London  Street  Views.  From  this  source  we  see 

1  Lord  Carlisle. 

a  See  Moore's  Lift  of  Byron. 



that  at  that  period  (roughly,  1835-1840)  the  corner  house, 
No.  1,  was  Sams's,  the  well-known  book  and  print  shop. 
No.  2,  previously,  as  we  have  seen,  the  establishment  of 
Thomas  Williams,  china-man,  was  occupied  by  one  Hance, 
a  hatter.  No.  3,  at  that  time  a  large,  double-fronted 
establishment,  was  jointly  inhabited  by  Berry,  the  grocer, 
whose  sign  was  the  coffee-mill,  and  Weigall,  the  engraver. 
Next  door  (No.  4,  Mr  Harvey's)  was  then  Crellins',  the 
tailor.  The  Imperial  Fire  and  Life  Office  was  at  No.  5 ; 
Lock's,  then  as  now,  at  No.  6  ;  at  No.  7,  Adam,  allitera- 
tively  described  as  a  bread  and  biscuit  baker ;  at  No.  8, 
Osman  Giddy,  a  chemist ;  at  No.  9,  Slater  &  Son ;  and 
then  the  St  James's  Bazaar. 

Most  of  the  elevations  of  these  houses  indicate  that  they 
had  come  down  from  a  much  earlier  day.  No.  8  seems 
to  have  had  a  story  added  to  it,  but  Nos.  1  and  10  are  the 
only  ones  which  show  marked  evidence  of  rebuilding. 

This  particular  portion  of  the  roadway  is,  in  some  re- 
spects, the  most  interesting,  in  that  it  represents  the  first 
systematic  development  of  the  thoroughfare,  and  although 
it  contains  none  of  the  clubs  for  which  St  James's  Street 
is  famous,  it  may  be  said  to  form  the  nucleus  of  the  street. 
For  this  reason  it  is  probable  that  it  was  in  one  of  these 
houses  that  Maclean,  the  highwayman,  lodged.  We  know 
his  "  diggings  "  were  opposite  "  White's,"  at  that  time  a 
few  doors  from  the  end  of  the  street  on  the  west  side. 
Mrs  Letitia  Pilkington,  the  friend  of  Swift,  after  being 
separated  from  her  husband,  the  Rev.  Matthew  Pilkington, 
opened  a  small  shop,  also  opposite  White's,  and  therefore 
in  one  of  the  houses  mentioned  above.  Her  venture  was 
not,  however,  a  success,  and  she  was  obliged  soon  after 
to  move  into  a  less  fashionable  quarter.  Another  shop- 
keeper here  was  Ridley,  the  bookseller,  who  made  prob- 
ably more  by  the  sale  of  Sir  John  Hill's  quack  medicines 
than  he  did  by  the  dissemination  of  literature. 


F,  HARVEY,  |J  p-^j  !' M'jJAMES'S  STRKU 

°S°E  LLER*T  .  j^S^^TTT^TT" 

''\,    .1 


Frotn  a  drawing  by  George  Cruikshank 


Continuing  our  progress  up  the  street,  we  come  to  No.  10, 
which  stands  at  the  corner  of  King  Street,  which  had,  when 
Tallis  executed  his  view,  only  recently  (1830)  become  a 
regular  thoroughfare,  so  far  as  its  western  end  is  concerned. 

Between  King  Street  and  Ryder  Street  Tallis  shows 
nine  houses  (Nos.  14  to  22).  In  the  1793  Patent  Directory. 
No.  15  is  given  as  occupied  by  William  Kendall,  a  glass- 
man.  By  the  by,  the  No.  12  there  set  down  under  the 
name  of  William  Stinton,  grocer,  must  have  disappeared 
when  King  Street  was  extended  over  the  site  of  the  court 
which  formerly  connected  it  with  St  James's  Street. 
Tallis  gives  No.  14  in  his  elevation  with  the  name  of  Pike, 
Breeches-Maker,  over  it ;  but  in  his  Directory  ignores  it 
altogether  and  places  Pike  at  No.  15.  Probably  the  tailor 
occupied  both  houses.  Hatters  seem  specially  to  have 
favoured  St  James's  Street  at  this  time,  and  we  come 
to  another  at  No.  16,  notably  one  named  Caterer.  The 
next  two  houses,  Nos.  16  1  and  17,  formed  the  large 
double-fronted  building  then  occupied  by  the  bank  of 
Messrs  Herries,  Farquhar,  Davidson  &  Co.,  whose  firm, 
under  the  name  of  Sir  Robert  Herries  &  Co.,  is  found  in 
the  Rate  Books  for  1785  paying  rates  on  a  rental  of  £150. 

At  No.  18  we  find  Willis  &  Co.,  tailors;  at  No.  19, 
Brumley,  glass  manufacturer;  at  No.  20,  Nugee,  tailor 
(whom  Thackeray  mentions,  by  the  by) ;  Nicholls  & 
Housley,  silk  mercers,  at  No.  21 ;  and  Lewis,  silversmith 
and  jeweller,  at  No.  22. 

The  houses  of  this  block,  between  King  Street  and 
Ryder  Street,  are  of  higher  elevation  than  those  lower 
down,  and  although  some  of  them,  notably  Nos.  18,  19 
and  20,  exhibit  characteristically  Georgian  fronts,  the 

1  Tallis  is  here  contradictory.  In  his  view  he  gives  Nos.  16  and 
17  as  the  bank ;  but  in  his  Directory  he  places  Caterer  at  No.  16, 
and  the  bank  at  No.  17.  Probably,  during  the  preparation  of  his 
work,  the  bank  had  absorbed  Caterer's  establishment. 



majority  have  evidently  been  refaced  to  suit  the  taste  of 
a  later  period. 

The  numbers  of  the  houses  forming  the  next  block,  be- 
tween Ryder  and  Jermyn  Streets,  run  from  23  to  35.  In 
1793  No.  25  was  occupied  by  one  Baux,  a  shoemaker. 
Nos.  26  and  27  formed,  till  recently,  the  double-fronted 
shop  of  Banting,  undertaker  and  upholsterer,  whose 
name  is  famous  in  the  annals  of  the  anti-fat  campaign ; 
William  Banting,  a  man  of  vast  proportions,  having 
adopted  the  method  of  reducing  his  bulk  by  a  meat  diet 
and  abstinence  from  beer,  farinaceous  foods  and  vege- 
tables. He  died  in  1878,  aged  eighty- two,  so  that  his 
scheme  did  not,  at  any  rate,  shorten  his  life.  No.  26  was 
once  a  noted  gambling  hell  miscalled  the  Athenaeum,  and 
was  kept  by  Messrs  Bond,  who  made  a  fortune  out  of  the 
enterprise.  No.  28  l  was  inhabited,  jointly,  by  John  Abbot, 
silversmith,  and  James  Turner,  jeweller,  and  No.  33,  by 
William  Middleton,  mercer  and  draper. 

Tallis  shows  us  Messrs  Briggs  at  No.  23,  as  they  are 
to-day,  and  next  door  Messrs  Welch  &  Gwynne,  print- 
sellers  and  publishers.  One  Garcia,  a  fruiterer,  has  taken 
Baux's  place  at  No.  25,  and  No.  26  was  then  occupied  by 
Charles  Jones,  gunmaker,  and  Bromley's  auction  rooms. 
Next  door  to  No.  27  comes  Boodle's  Club,  with  its  beautiful 
Adams  front.  Nos.  29,  30  and  31  were  respectively 
occupied  by  Hummel  &  Co.,  hosiers,  Bryant,  a  picture 
dealer,  and  Dodd,  a  tailor.  At  No.  32  we  have  another 
double  tenancy,  for  Tallis  gives  H.  J.  M'Clary,  librarian 
and  stationer,  and  Angelo's  School  of  Arms,  as  being  here. 
A  book  label  which  I  possess  bears  the  name  of  Ann 
M'Gary  as  being  at  No.  32,  so  it  is  probable  that  the 

1  There  has  been  renumbering,  for  Boodle's  was  established  here 
in  1765,  and  in  1877  is  given  (by  Leigh,  in  his  New  Picture  of 
London),  as  being  at  No.  31,  while  White's,  now  No.  37,  is  set  down 
as  at  No.  43. 


H.  J.  M'Clary  was  a  son  of  this  lady.  It  was,  earlier,  at 
No.  29,  then  the  shop  of  Miss  Humphrey,  that  the  carica- 
tures of  Gillray  were  exhibited,  and  collected  such  crowds 
on  the  pavement  in  front.  Here  the  artist  himself  lodged, 
and  in  a  fit  of  insanity  ended  his  life  by  throwing  himself 
from  an  upper  window.  At  No.  32,  the  once  well-known 
bookseller,  Robert  Triphook,  had  his  shop,  over  which 
Cam  Hobhouse  lodged  at  one  time.  Triphook  was  a  kind 
of  literary  assistant  to  Sir  Walter  Scott,  and  collected  in- 
formation for  him,  notably  when  he  was  engaged  on  The 
Pirate.  As  Hobhouse  was  the  intimate  friend  of  Byron, 
No.  32  is  indirectly  identified  with  the  two  leading  literary 
men  of  that  period.  Of  Angelo's  famous  academy  I 
shall  say  more  in  another  chapter,  but  I  may  state  here, 
that  the  premises  occupied  by  it  were  first  built  as  part  of 
Colonel  Redham's  celebrated  riding-school,  and  were  taken 
by  the  grandson  of  the  original  Angelo  in  1830.  Angelo's 
partner,  William  M'Turk,  and  his  two  sons  had  their 
salle  d'armes  here  later  (from  1866). 

Next  door  (No.  33)  G.  Walker,  tailor  and  habit-maker, 
carried  on  his  business.  Walker  seems  to  have  been  a 
pioneer  and  to  have  discovered  a  new  method  of  making 
trousers,  like  Mr  Goren,  in  Evan  Harrington,  whom  Mere- 
dith x  may  have  modelled  on  the  St  James's  Street  artist. 
His  advertisement  is  worth  reproducing :  "  Trousers  on 
a  New  Principle. — Walker,  33  St  James's  Street,  has 
discovered  an  entirely  new  principle  of  Cutting  Trousers, 
and  offers  to  furnish  the  Nobility,  Gentry,  and  the  Public, 
with  this  important  article  of  dress,  admirably  adapted 
to  the  display  of  the  figure,  and  at  the  same  time  affording 
such  comfort  in  all  exercises  as  to  insure  the  highest  satis- 

1  By  the  by,  the  great  novelist  himself  once  lodged  in  St  James's 
Street,  and  it  would  be  interesting  if  it  could  be  established  that 
he  did  so  at  No.  33.  His  own  father  was,  it  will  be  remembered,  a 



faction  to  those  who  honour  him  with  orders.  If  Art  can 
give  ornament  to  Nature,  if  any  thing  can  surpass  her  in 
the  contour  of  a  limb,  it  is  when  cloth  is  made  elegantly  to 
fit  the  same,  then  it  may  fairly  be  admitted  that  Art  has 
added  a  charm  even  to  Nature. — G.  W.  begs  to  add,  that 
he  continues  to  supply  Uniforms  for  Officers  of  the  Army 
and  Navy,  also  Deputy  Lieutenants'  and  Court  Dresses, 
in  the  most  tasteful  style  and  at  moderate  charges  for 
Ready  Money." 

Next  to  this  great  artist,  T.  I.  Mortimer  had  his  gun 
and  pistol  manufactory,  and  at  No.  35  (the  corner  of 
Jermyn  Street)  still  another  firm  of  hatters  appear,  notably 
Messrs  I.  &  F.  Evans,  who  combined  a  hosiery  business 
with  their  other  branch.  The  feature  of  this  block  of  St 
James's  Street  is,  of  course,  Boodle's  Club-house,  which 
was  designed  by  the  Adams  and  erected  by  John  Crunden 
about  1765.  In  1821-1824  large  improvements  and 
additions  were  made  (a  new  reading-room  was  one  of 
them)  under  the  direction  of  J.  B.  Papworth.1  Of  the 
other  houses  between  Ryder  Street  and  Jermyn  Street  I 
would  draw  attention  to  Messrs  Briggs',  at  the  corner  of 
the  former  thoroughfare,  as  being  probably,  from  its  much 
lower  elevation  (in  Tallis's  view)  than  the  rest,  a  survival 
of  the  first  buildings  erected  on  this  side  of  St  James's 
Street.  To-day  everything  has,  of  course,  become  altered 
except  the  front  of  Boodle's,  which  remains  essentially  as 
it  first  appeared  when  the  Adams  designed  it. 

From    Jermyn    Street    to    Piccadilly    the    street    is 
numbered  from  36,  at  the  north  corner  of  the  former 
thoroughfare,  to  42.    Among  these  houses  given  in  the 
Patent  Directory  for  1793  are  No.  37,  then  occupied  by 
John  Wilson,  perfumer;    No.   38,  the  shop  of  Francis 
Knight  &  Son,  stationers;  and  No.  41,  in  the  occupa- 
tion of  William  Jones,  saddler.    According  to  Tallis,  the 
1  For  Boodle's  Club,  see  Chapter  VI. 


inhabitants  in  this  portion  of  St  James's  Street  were  as 
follows: — No.  36,  a  double  house,  was  jointly  occupied 
by  Thomas,  bootmaker,  on  the  south  portion,  and  Eley, 
whose  premises  are  described  as  the  "  Patent  Wire  Cart- 
ridge Warehouse."  It  is  interesting  to  read  Eley's  ad- 
vertisements, addressed  "  To  Sportsmen,"  and  headed  by 
a  diagram  showing  five  birds  (presumably  grouse)  rising 
amid  a  shower  of  shot.  This  is  what  Eley  has  to  say  about 
the  merits  of  his  patent : 

"  Eley's  patent  wire  cartridges,  for  shooting  game,  &c., 
at  long  distances,  are  warranted  to  make  all  guns  kill  from 
twenty  to  forty  yards  further  than  a  loose  charge.  They 
are  strongly  recommended  by  the  following  eminent  sport- 
ing authors: — Colonel  Hawker,  author  of  'Instructions 
to  Sportsmen ' ;  T.  B.  Johnson  Esq.,  author  of  the  '  Game- 
keeper's Directory,'  &c. ;  Nimrod ;  J.  Oakleigh  Esq., 
author  of  *  The  Oakleigh  Shooting  Code  ' ;  James  Tyler 
Esq.,  author  of  'The  Shooter's  Manual ' ;  W.  Watt  Esq., 
author  of  'Remarks  on  Shooting,  inverse.'  A  prospectus 
containing  the  testimonials  of  the  above-named  authors, 
and  further  information  may  be  had  on  application  at  the 
warehouse,  36  St  James's  Street.  They  are  well  worth 
the  attention  of  merchants  and  captains.  To  be  had  of 
all  gunmakers." 

No  No.  87  is  given,  it  obviously  being  included  with 
No.  38,  the  famous  White's  Club-house,  about  which  I 
shall  have  a  good  deal  to  say  later  on.  No.  39  was  then 
occupied  by  Messrs  Moore  &  Co.,  hatters;  No.  40  by 
E.  Hogg,  military  tailor;  No.  41,  by  M'Dowall,  watch 
and  clock  maker,  whose  advertisement  tells  us  that  he  was 
the  inventor  of  the  "  Helix  Lever  and  Revolving  Endless 
Gravitating  Time  Piece,  without  springs,  chains,  Barrels, 
fusees,  and  keys,  and  Quiescent  Armillary  Escape  !  " 

Over  the  shop  of  this  inventive  genius  were  the  York 
Chambers  (also  numbered  41),  where  Campbell  the  poet 



once  lived,  and  next  door,  at  the  corner  of  Piccadilly,  at 
No.  42,  Barclay  had  his  furrier  and  hat  establishment ; 
premises  now  rebuilt  and  occupied  by  the  Union  of 
London  and  Smith's  Bank. 

We  thus  see  that,  at  the  beginning  of  Queen  Victoria's 
reign,  St  James's  Street  had  practically  the  same  character 
as  it  enjoys  to-day.    Then,  as  now,  business  establish- 
ments occupied  most  of  its  houses,  a  famous  bank  among 
them;    then,  as  now,  two  well-known  clubs  were  here 
(to-day,  by  the  by,  the  Sandown  Park  Gub  occupying 
part  of  No.  4  and  the  Kempton  Park  Club  at  No.  23A  are 
additions).     What  taverns  or  coffee-houses  there  may 
have  been  here  in  earlier  days  had  by  then  disappeared, 
such  as  the  King's  Head,  next  to  White's,  and  Parsloe's, 
which  adjoined  Pickering  Place,  in  1796,  then  carried  on 
by  Jane  Parsloe  and  known  for  its  literary  associations, 
where  the  Johnson  Club  once  held  its  meetings,  and  the 
Chess  Club,  of  which  the  great  Philidor  was  a  member. 
The  elevations  of  the  houses  on  the  east  side  of  the  street 
have  been  altered  for  the  most  part  out  of  all  recognition. 
The  two  well-known  fronts,  which  are,  however,  essentially 
as  they  were  when  Tallis  made  his  drawings,  are  those  of 
White's  and  Boodle's,  and  there  are  one  or  two  houses  at 
the  lower  end  of  the  street  which  are  of  an  earlier  date. 
But  rebuilding  has  been  rampant.    The  north  and  south 
corners  have  both  been  reconstructed,  the  former  especi- 
ally, on  a  splendid  scale.    The  bank,  whose  old  front  we 
remember  (as  it  looked  in  Tallis's  plan)  has  been  converted 
into  a  fine  building  and  has  embraced  the  formerly  separ- 
ate house  at  the  corner  of  King  Street.    The  St  James's 
Bazaar  has  undergone  several  metamorphoses,  although 
its  area  has  not  been  extended.    Just  as  brick  gave  way 
to  stucco  under  the  eegis  of  Nash,  so  has  stucco  now  dis- 
appeared in  favour  of  stone,  and  St  James's  Street  is 
exhibiting  evidences  of  that  great  rebuilding  of  London 



which,  when  completed,  should  leave  it  the  most  beautiful, 
as  it  is  the  largest,  city  in  the  world. 


The  west  side  of  St  James's  Street  has  never  had  quite 

the  same  character  as  the  east.     In  the  first  place,  just  as 

its  tributary  streets  have  always  been  more  residential 

than  those  opposite,  so  the  premises  in  the  thoroughfare 

itself  have  shared  something  of  this  characteristic.    There 

have  been,  and  are,  more  clubs  on  this  side  :  White's  (in 

its  early  days,  although  one  must  not  forget  that  it  was, 

first  of  all,  on  the  east  side),  The  Thatched  House,  arising 

out  of  the  tavern  of  that  name,  Brooks's,  Crockford's, 

Arthur's,  The  Cocoa  Tree,  The  Devonshire  (Crockford's 

successor),  The  New  University,  The  Royal  Societies  and 

The  Conservative  have  all  been  here  and  nearly  all  still 

remain.    Unlike  the  east  side,  too,  it  has  had  its  hotels : 

Fenton's,  at  No.  63,  and  the  St  James's  Royal  Hotel,  kept 

by  English,  at  No.  88,  at  the  corner  of  Cleveland  Row ; 

Symon's  Hotel  at  Nos.  57  and  58  ;  Ellis's  at  Nos.  59  and  60, 

and  Graham's  at  No.  87,  next  door  to  English's.    The 

west  side  has  thus  had  a  more  residential  character  than 

the  east ;   but  it  has  not  been  quite  innocent  of  business 

premises.     In  the  Patent  Directory  for  1798,  however,  I 

find  only  one  name  given  between  Piccadilly  and  Bennet 

Street,  notably  that  of  Henry  Holland,  music- seller,  at 

No.   48,  the  corner  house,  which  in  Tallis's  time  was 

occupied  by  Hoby,  the  famous  bootmaker,  and  is  now 

absorbed  in  the  splendid  offices  of  the  Royal  Insurance 

Company,  and  where,    in  1788,   Ozias   Humphrey,   the 

miniature  painter,  lodged.    Next  door  is  given  in  Tallis's 

Directory,  as  being  occupied  by  the  Guards'  Club  (until 

recently  in  Pall  Mall  and  now  in  Mount  Street),  and  then 

Crockford's  long  front  (now  the  Devonshire  Club)  faces 

D  49 


the  street  till  we  come  to  No.  53,  then  owned  and  occupied 
by  "  Crockford  Esq.,"  the  proprietor.  Next  door  to  him, 
and  at  the  corner  of  Bennet  Street,  is  No.  54,  which  was 
formerly  the  headquarters  of  another  and  smaller  pro- 
prietary club,  notably  Bond's,  afterwards  moved  to 
No.  26,  on  the  opposite  side.1  These  last  two  houses 
have  for  many  years  now  been  Messrs  Harper's,  coach- 
builders,  establishment,  which,  with  the  Devonshire  Club 
and  the  Royal  Insurance  Company,  thus  occupy  jointly 
the  block  between  Piccadilly  and  Bennet  Street. 

Between  the  latter  thoroughfare  and  Park  Place  the 
houses  are  numbered  55  to  61.  Of  these  the  Directory  of 
1793  gives  the  former  as  being  in  the  occupation  of  John 
Thomas,  goldsmith.  By  about  1835-1840,  Richards,  a 
chemist,  had  replaced  Thomas  here,  and  next  door  (No.  56) 
were  J.  Gurney  &  Co.,  tailors,  the  remainder  of  this 
portion  of  the  street  2  being  filled  by  the  double  houses 
occupied  by  Symon's  and  Ellis's  hotels,  and  Brooks's 
Club-house  at  the  corner  of  Park  Place.  Tallis  gives  the 
club  as  numbered  61  (it  is  now  No.  60),  but  crossing  Park 
Place  we  find  the  house  at  its  south  corner  also  numbered 
61,  which  is  shown  as  being  jointly  occupied  by  R.  Payn, 
wine  importer,  and  Mrs  Geary,  who  kept  here  her 
"  Magasin  de  Nouveautes."  Next  door  was  J.  Lauriere, 
a  jeweller.  It  was  here  that  the  famous  Betty  had  her 
fruit  shop,  the  rendezvous  of  the  wits  and  fine  gentleman 
of  the  period,  where  the  queen  of  applewomen  dispensed 
opinions  on  politics  as  she  served  out  her  pears  and  pine- 
apples. It  is  safe  to  say  that,  for  a  considerable  period, 
Betty  (Mrs  Neale  was  her  proper  name)  was  as  much  an 
institution  of  St  James's  Street  as  White's  or  Brooks's. 
We  shall  meet  with  her  again  in  the  chapter  on  famous 

1  Mr  Wheatley  gives  Lord  Nelson  as  lodging  at  No.  54  in  1800  ; 
in  the  same  year  he  went  to  rooms  in  Arlington  Street. 
8  Nos.  57  and  58  are  now  the  New  University  Club-house. 



men  and  women,  where  I  shall  give  some  further  details 
of  her  and  her  customers. 

Fenton's  Hotel  at  No.  63  was  in  the  street's  early  days 
Peyrault's  *  Bagnio,  established  about  1699,  a  very  fashion- 
able lounge.  It  is  interesting  to  know  that  the  charge  for 
a  cold  bath  was  then  two  shillings  and  sixpence,  and  for 
a  warm  one  five  shillings  ! 

Between  these  premises  and  the  next  house  were  certain 
mews.  These  occupied  what,  in  a  plan  dated  1825,  is 
termed  Stable  Yard ;  in  Rhodes'  map  of  1770  and  the 
Rate  Books  for  1785,  Blue  Ball  Yard  2;  and  in  the  Rate 
Books  (1685  and  passim)  Stable  Yard. 

Continuing  from  the  south  corner  of  these  mews  we 
have  (according  to  Tallis)  Croker's  Universal  Literary 
Cabinet  at  No.  64;  Pulford,  tailor,  at  No.  65;  a  rival 
of  the  same  trade,  in  Williamson,  next  door,  and  at  67 
Philip  &  Whicker,  cutlers  and  surgeons'  instrument 
makers,  at  the  corner  of  St  James's  Place.  In  this  block 
the  Royal  Societies  Club  at  No.  63,  and  the  Cocoa  Tree 
Club  at  No.  64  occupy  the  site  of  the  Universal  Literary 
Cabinet  and  its  neighbouring  house.  In  1793  Lloyd 
Thackeray  &  Co.,  wine  merchants,  were  at  No.  65. 

At  the  other  (south)  corner  of  St  James's  Place  the 
house  is  numbered  67  by  Tallis  (as  in  the  case  of  61),  and 
in  this  building  one  Robertson  carried  on  the  trade  of 
"French  Bread  and  Biscuit  Baker."  Next  door  was 
R.  Johnson,  sword  cutler,  evidently  a  successor  to  Messrs 
Bland  &  Foster,  who  were  carrying  on  the  same  business 
here  in  1793.  In  this  year  Peter  Wirgman  is  given  as 
jeweller  at  No.  69,  where  Johnson  once  bought  a  pair  of 
shoe-buckles,  by  the  by ;  but  in  Tallis's  time  that  house 
had  been  incorporated  in  Arthur's  Club,  which  comprised 
both  this  and  the  next  house  (No.  70).  At  71,  Tallis 

1  It  is  sometimes  called  Pierault's  and  sometimes  Pero's. 
8  As  given  in  Elmes's  Topographical  Dictionary,  1831. 



gives  one  Haynes,  probably  a  letter  of  apartments,  and 
Deighton,  a  tailor.  Smith  &  Co.,  fruiterers,  are  at  No.  72, 
where,  in  1793,  John  Jollyfe  had  had  a  bookshop,  and  at 
No.  73,  Halpin,  tailor  and  breeches-maker. 

A  very  narrow  alley  shown  in  Tallis's  view  is  Little  St 
James's  Street,  which,  in  Rhodes's  plan  of  1770,  is  given 
as  Catherine  Wheel  Yard,  not  to  be  confounded  with 
Little  Catherine  Wheel  Yard,  which  was  at  the  bottom  of 
the  street  and  ran  into  Cleveland  Row. 

No.  76  St  James's  Street,  at  the  south  corner  of  this 
yard,  was  occupied  during  the  early  years  of  Queen 
Victoria's  reign  by  one  Boss,  a  gun-maker,  as  well  as 
by  Miss  Bidney,  who  enjoyed  the  distinction  of  being 
"  Honiton  Lace  Manufacturer  to  Her  Majesty."  Two 
doors  off,  at  No.  74,  the  Conservative  Club  is  to-day 
established.  Continuing  down  the  street  we  find,  accord- 
ing to  Tallis,  No.  77  occupied  by  Charles  Moore,  gun- 
maker;  No.  78,  by  Messrs  Strong,  hatters  and  hosiers. 
No.  79,  which  in  1793  was  the  shop  of  another  hatter, 
named  Moneys,  is  found  to  be  occupied  by  one  Mimpress, 
a  jeweller;  and  next  door  was  the  Thatched  House 
Club  (now  No.  86  1),  kept  by  Messrs  J.  and  W.  Willis. 
Nos.  81  to  83  are  given  by  Tallis  as  the  shops  of 
Harrison,  tobacconist,  Martin,  tailor,  and  Page,  wig- 
maker,  respectively ;  while  at  No.  84  Fisher,  hosier,  is 
found  replacing  Jane  Hatch,  jeweller,  who  was  there  in 
1793.  The  Albion  Club — a  proprietary  establishment  of 
which  little  seems  to  be  known — occupied  what  was  then 
No.  84.  Next  door  (No.  86)  was  the  shop  of  Messrs  G.  and 
J.  Gary,  map  and  globe  publishers,  and  at  No.  87,  Graham's 
Club-house,  a  once  notable  gambling  centre,  which  came 
to  an  end  in  the  early  forties.  It  was  a  great  place  for 
whist,  and  Lord  Henry  Bentinck  is  here  said  to  have 

1  C.  Dyer,  print-seller,  is  mentioned  by  J.  T.  Smith  (Nollekens  and 
his  Times)  as  carrying  on  his  business  at  a  shop  close  to  this  club. 



initiated  that  particular  call  for  trumps  known  as  the 
"Blue  Peter."  With  the  double-fronted  corner  house 
(No.  88),  in  Tallis's  day  known  as  the  St  James's  Royal 
Hotel  and  kept  by  C.  G.  English,  we  come  to  the  end  of 
the  buildings  on  the  west  side  of  St  James's  Street. 

Among  them  those  that  stood  out  architecturally  were 
Crockford's  (replaced  by  the  Devonshire  Club),  Brooks's 
(still  existing  practically  as  it  was  a  hundred  years  ago),1 
Fenton's  Hotel  (No.  63),  where  the  Royal  Societies  Club 
is  now,  Arthur's,  and  English's  Hotel  which  has  not  long 
since  been  massively  rebuilt.  For  the  rest,  although  some 
of  the  houses  showed  signs  of  rehabilitation,  the  majority 
of  them  bore,  at  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century, 
the  characteristics,  allowing  for  reconstruction,  of  an  earlier 

To-day  so  much  rebuilding  has  taken  place  on  both 
sides  of  the  street,  and  is  still  gradually  progressing,  that 
the  views  given  by  Tallis  (here  reproduced)  will  enable 
the  reader  to  see  at  a  glance  what  a  metamorphosis  the 
thoroughfare  has  undergone. 

It  is  always  difficult  to  reconstruct  in  one's  mind  the 
earlier  features  of  a  street  which  has  been  so  much  rebuilt 
as  has  the  thoroughfare  under  consideration.  For  in- 
stance, it  would  tax  the  memory  in  no  slight  degree  if  one 
tried  to  remember  the  outlines  of  the  building  which,  only 
the  other  day,  as  it  seems,  gave  place  to  the  fine  offices  of 

1  Brooks's  is  specifically  referred  to  by  Ralph  (Critical  Review  of 
the  Public  Buildings,  etc.,  of  London)  in  the  following  passage: — 
•"  St  James's  Street  is  much  more  remarkable  for  the  natural 
advantages  and  beauty  of  the  ground,  than  from  any  addition  it 
has  received  from  art.  The  house  at  the  corner  of  Park  Place  is 
well  proportioned,  and  has  considerable  merit.  The  palace-gate, 
notwithstanding  its  advantageous  position  at  the  end  of  this 
street,  has  a  very  mean  appearance." 

If  Ralph's  ghost  revisits  the  glimpses  of  the  moon,  it  is  possible 
that  it  would  see  reason  for  amending  this  very  wholesale  criticism. 



the  Royal  Insurance  Company,  at  the  north-west  corner 
of  St  James's  Street.  The  houses  at  that  point  shown 
by  Tallis  had  in  their  turn  been  rebuilt,  so  that  his  eleva- 
tions are  of  no  assistance.  But  it  so  happens  that  E.  J. 
Gregory,  R.A.,  in  his  picture  of  Piccadilly,  shows  the 
immediate  predecessors,  not  only  of  the  insurance  offices 
named  but  also  of  the  equally  fine  block  on  the  north- 
west side  of  the  street ;  for  which  reason  I  here  reproduce 
it  through  the  courtesy  of  The  Studio,  in  which  publication 
it  appeared. 

Something  of  the  earlier  St  James's  Street  can  be  evoked 
from  the  pencil  of  Hogarth  and  the  caricaturists  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  etc.,1  although  in  the  famous  plate 
in  The  Rake's  Progress  the  architectural  detail  is  so 
subsidiary  to  the  story  related  that  we  can  merely  see  in 
that  picture  the  straight,  rather  formal  but  wholly  digni- 
fied Georgian  houses  which  were  common  to  so  many 
London  thoroughfares  of  the  period.  Indeed,  with  a  few 
exceptions,  it  is  the  human  element  that  makes  for  the 
fascination  of  St  James's  Street,  and  about  that  aspect 
of  it  I  shall  have  something  to  say  in  another  chapter. 
Architecturally  its  day  is  to  come.  There  is  ample 
evidence  that  it  is  dawning  even  now,  and  it  will  not 
apparently  be  long  before,  on  either  side,  those  splendid 
stone-fronted  buildings,  of  which  a  few  are  already  in 
existence,  will  be  the  rule,  not,  as  now,  the  exception. 
When  this  reconstruction  is  complete  it  will  be  still  more 
difficult  to  recall  to  mind  those  less  ambitious  but  hardly 
less  picturesque  red-brick  structures  of  which  so  few  have 

1 1  may  mention  A  Sequel  to  the  Battle  of  Temple  Bar,  The 
British  Patriots'-  Procession  through  London,  and  The  Funeral 
Procession  of  the  Duke  of  York,  inter  alia,  a  reproduction  of  the 
first  being  given  in  this  volume. 





IN  this  chapter  I  want  to  speak  of  those  streets  and  courts 
which  still  run  into  St  James's  Street,  or  which  once  did  so. 
Most  of  them  are  both  of  the  past  and  the  present ;  a  few 
have,  however,  disappeared.  Before  describing  these  I 
must  point  out  that  I  have  thought  it  best  to  deal  in 
quite  a  general  way  with  Jermyn  Street :  it  has  a  history 
of  its  own,  so  to  speak ;  its  length  carries  it  into  a  region 
which,  if  fully  dealt  with,  would  make  it  necessary  equally 
to  deal  with  an  equivalent  area  on  other  sides  of  St  James's 
Street,  with  the  result  that,  instead  of  writing  the  history 
of  this  particular  thoroughfare,  I  should,  if  I  trespassed 
so  far  outside  its  boundaries,  be  relating  the  history  of  a 
large  portion  of  the  West  End.  With  regard  to  King 
Street,  the  other  important  tributary,  the  case  is  different, 
as  it  extends  but  a  relatively  short  way,  and  St  James's 
Square  forms  its  natural  limit. 

One  of  the  earliest  detailed  plans  showing  St  James's 
Street  is  the  map  of  St  James's  Parish,  published  by 
William  Rhodes  in  1770.  By  this  we  find,  on  the  east  side, 
the  following  streets  and  courts  marked  :  Pickering  Place, 
Gloucester  Court,  King  Street,  Little  Rider  Street,  Fox 
Court,1  Crown  and  Sceptre  Court,  Little  Jermyn  Street 
and  Villiers  Court.  I  will  take  this  side  first  before  re- 
ferring to  the  outlets  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  way. 

1  In  1698  three  people  were  living  here — viz.  John  Bennett, 
Thomas  Ealy  and  John  Hurst. 




This  court  is  now  known  as  Pickering  Place,  and  runs 
up  by  the  side  of  No.  4  St  James's  Street.  It  was  origin- 
ally called  Strode's,  or  Stroud's,1  Court,  no  doubt  taking 
its  name  from  a  former  ground  landlord  who  lived  close  by 
in  St  James's  Street.  When  it  first  assumed  its  present 
name  is  not  clear.  In  Dodsley's  London,  1761,  it  is  re- 
ferred to  as  Pickering  Court ;  while  in  a  Directory  for  1758 
it  is  given,  indifferently,  both  as  Pickering  Court  and 
Streuds  (sic)  Court.  It  is,  therefore,  probable  that  it  was 
about  this  time  that  its  name  was  altered.  William 
Pickering,  a  prosperous  merchant,  is  known  to  have 
established  himself  at  No.  4  St  James's  Street  in  1740, 
and  to  have  gradually  acquired  most  of  the  adjoining 
property.  When  Rocque  issued  his  plan  of  London  a  few 
years  later  he  called  the  place  Pickering's  Court ;  and  in 
the  Rate  Books  for  1785  it  is  so  given ;  four  people  were 
then  living  in  it— viz.  Lord  Kirkcudbright,  Matthew 
Hallagan,  Josiah  Winnock  and  James  Parsloe. 

There  is  extant  a  card-plate  of  the  Georgian  period  on 
which  is  engraved  the  following : — "  5  Pickering  Place, 
St  James's  Street,  Rouge  and  Roulette,  French  and 
English  Hazard.  Commence  at  one  o'clock."  No  name 
appears  on  the  plate,  for  rather  obvious  reasons,  this 
house  at  the  bottom  of  the  court  facing  St  James's 
Street,  and  still  in  existence,  being  then  one  of  the  most 
notorious  gambling  hells  in  London.  Its  fashionable 
position,  no  less  than  its  sequestered  situation  (you 
may,  to-day,  easily  pass  its  entrance  court  without 
observing  it),  made  it  peculiarly  fitted  for  its  purpose. 
How  long  its  career  of  this  character  lasted,  it  is  difficult 
to  say ;  but  it  is  probable  that  the  place  existed  as  a 

1  It  is  so  given  in  the  Rate  Books  for  1695,  etc.     Maitland,  in 
1739,  also  gives  it  thus. 





gambling  centre  down  to  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth 

To-day  the  "  Place  "  has  a  quiet  and  retired  air — there 
is  something  almost  cloistral  about  it — its  little  flagged 
courtyard  being  reached  by  a  passage,  the  sides  of  which 
are  half-timbered  and  are,  no  doubt,  a  relic  of  the  earliest 
buildings  of  St  James's  Street.  It  alone  shares  with  the 
neighbouring  Palace  something  of  the  antiquity  which 
has  no  other  survivals  in  this  neighbourhood. 


Gloucester  Court  no  longer  exists,  but  it  was  formerly 
situated  nine  houses  from  the  bottom  of  St  James's  Street, 
in  which  position  Elmes,  in  his  Topographical  Dictionary 
of  London  (1831),  gives  it.  Maitland,  in  1739,  does  not 
mention  it,  but  as  it  is  marked  in  Rhodes 's  plan  (1770)  we 
can  trace  its  formation  approximately.  It  was  probably 
swept  out  of  existence  when  the  St  James's  Bazaar  was 
built,  as  that  building  was  next  to  No.  9  St  James's 
Street.  This  Bazaar  was  erected  by  Crockford,  from  the 
design  of  G.  Bond,1  in  1832.  I  may  mention  here  that, 
according  to  Timbs,  this  building  (still  in  existence,  but 
internally  reconstructed)  had  a  saloon  200  feet  long,  and 
that  here  were  exhibited,  in  1841,  three  dioramic  tableaux 
of  the  second  funeral  of  Napoleon,  to  which  we  may  be 
sure  Thackeray  2  was  a  visitor ;  and  that  in  1844  the 
first  exhibition  of  the  decorative  works  for  the  new  Houses 
of  Parliament  were  here  shown. 

At  a  subsequent  period  the  building  was  converted  into 
chambers,  and  between  1883  and  1884  it  underwent 
another  transformation,  the  Junior  Army  and  Navy  Club 

1  The  designs  were  continued  by  Sir  J.  Pennethorne. 

2  Who    wrote   The   Second   Funeral   of  Napoleon,  it   will    be 



having  acquired  it.  Under  Wyatt  Papworth,  the  archi- 
tect, the  interior  was  wholly  reconstructed  and  made 
suitable  for  its  new  purpose. 

It  is  within  recent  years  that  the  club  gave  up  its  home 
here  and  that  the  premises  were  acquired  by  Rumpel- 
meyer,  whose  tea-rooms  (now  moved  to  the  opposite 
side  of  St  James's  Street)  were  a  fashionable  lounge. 
Since  his  removal  the  place  was  occupied  as  a  carriage- 
builder's,  and  at  the  time  of  writing  is  again  undergoing 
alteration  for  a  like  purpose.  As  the  building  occupies  a  far 
longer  frontage  to  King  Street  than  it  does  to  St  James's 
Street,  and  has  its  principal  entrance  there,  it  properly 
takes  its  place  in  the  account  of  the  former,  rather  than  in 
that  of  the  latter,  thoroughfare. 

It  seems  probable  that  Gloucester  Court  was  so  named 
after  the  Duke  of  Gloucester,  the  brother  of  George  III., 
although  the  fact  cannot  be  substantiated. 


King  Street,  apart  from  its  being  one  of  the  more 
important  turnings  out  of  St  James's  Street,  is  notable 
as  containing  the  site  of  the  famous  Almack's,  as  well 
as  the  one-time  residence  of  Napoleon  III.,  and  as,  to-day, 
being  identified  with  the  world-known  establishment  of 

King  Street  was  made  in  1673,  and  was  one  of  the 
thoroughfares  which  formed  part  of  the  development  of 
St  James's  Square,  by  Lord  St  Albans.  At  its  north-east 
comer  stood  Halifax  House,  whose  occupier,  George 
Savile,  Lord  Halifax,  the  celebrated  Trimmer,  is  entered 
in  the  Rate  Books  as  of  "King's  Street  in  St  James's 
Fields."  His  connection  with  this  neighbourhood,  how- 
ever, is  more  properly  associated  with  the  Square  itself, 
on  which  his  residence  abutted,  just  as  is  that  of  the 



From  a  drawing  l<y  T.  H.  Shepherd 


Duke  of  Cleveland,  who  occupied  the  house  opposite 
(with  an  entrance  in  King  Street),  at  the  south-west 
corner  of  the  Square,  in  1726. 

In  its  earlier  form  King  Street  had  no  carriage  com- 
munication with  St  James's  Street,  a  narrow  court  con- 
necting the  two,  till  1830,  when  the  roadway  was  made  a 
uniform  width,  as  it  is  at  present.  This  change  may  be 
traced,  I  imagine,  to  the  erection  of  the  St  James's  Bazaar, 
which  rose  some  two  years  later,  and  which  was  responsible 
for  the  pulling  down  of  the  small  houses  at  the  south-west 
corner  of  the  court. 

Besides  containing  this  large  building,  as  well  as  Messrs 
Christie's  l  at  No.  8,  which,  by  the  by,  stands  on  the  site 
of  what  was  formerly  Wilson's  European  Emporium  or 
Museum,  that  place  in  turn  following  a  gambling  hell 
of  unenviable  notoriety,  and  Willis's  Rooms  (originally 
Almack's)  opposite,  King  Street  has  in  it  the  St  James's 
Theatre,  which  was  erected,  in  1835,  from  the  designs  of 
Samuel  Beazley  for  Braham,  the  singer,  whose  fame  has 
been  perpetuated  in  the  inimitable  prose  of  Lamb. 

Under  his  aegis,  however,  the  place  was  not  an  unquali- 
fied success,  and  Kenney  once  told  Alfred  Bunn  that, 
hearing  Braham  express  himself  satisfied  with  the  number 
in  the  pit  on  a  certain  occasion,  he  took  the  trouble  to 
count  them,  and  found  the  audience  in  that  part  of  the 

1  Messrs  Christie's  have  been  in  King  Street  since  1823,  moving 
hence  from  Pall  Mall  in  that  year.  The  history  of  the  great 
house's  foundation  does  not,  therefore,  properly  belong  to  these 
pages,  nor  is  it  necessary  to  set  down  the  long  list  of  famous  sales, 
from  that  of  the  Bernal  collection  in  1855,  and  the  Hamilton 
Palace  dispersal  in  1882  downwards,  because  a  splendid  record  of 
the  initiation  and  gradual  development  of  the  firm,  and  an  ex- 
haustive list  of  its  sales,  with  some  of  the  special  lots  disposed  of, 
and  the  prices  they  fetched,  has  been  compiled  by  Mr  W.  Roberts 
in  his  Memorials  of  Christie's,  2  vols.,  1879;  wherein  may  be  read 
so  much  of  the  romance  of  that  famous  sale-room  and  not  a  little  of 
the  vanity  of  human  wishes. 



house  numbered  exactly  seventeen  !  At  a  later  date  the 
great  Rachel  electrified  London  at  the  St  James's  and 
here  scored  some  of  her  most  notable  triumphs.  Much 
later  still,  Ravel  and  Schneider  played  here  to  crowded 
houses,  and  in  our  own  days  the  theatre  has  been  largely 
associated  with  the  successes  identified  with  the  names  of 
the  Kendals,  Sir  John  Hare  and  Sir  George  Alexander. 
In  1879  the  interior  was  completely  remodelled,  and  from 
that  date  to  1888  Hare  and  the  Kendals  occupied  it. 

At  one  time  the  street  boasted  an  hotel — to  wit,  Nerot's, 
at  No.  19 — and  I  find  it  specifically  mentioned  in  the  year 
1782 ;  but  it  cannot  claim  to  have  a  history  except  for  the 
fact  that  Nelson  on  his  return  to  London,  after  the  battle 
of  the  Nile,  stayed  here  for  a  short  time,  his  wife  and 
father  having  come  here  previously  to  receive  him. 

Of  distinguished  residents  King  Street  has  had  its  share. 
Here,  in  1712,  Theresa  Blount  was  lodging  "next  door  to 
my  Lord  Salisbury's,"  as  Pope  addresses  her  in  that  year. 
The  Lord  Salisbury  referred  to  must  have  been  the  5th 
Earl,  who  succeeded  to  the  title  in  1694,  and  died  in  1728. 
Another  one-time  resident  was  Sir  John  Pringle,  a  Presi- 
dent of  the  Royal  Society,  who  died  "  at  his  apartments 
in  King  Street,  St  James's  Square,"  in  January  1782.  It 
is  Pringle,  it  will  be  remembered,  whom  Boswell  describes 
as  "my  own  friend  and  my  Father's  friend,"  but  whom 
Johnson  could  not  away  with.  On  the  famous  journey 
to  Auchinleck,  Boswell  was  at  infinite  pains  to  induce 
Johnson  to  avoid  three  subjects  of  discussion  with 
his  father,  Sir  John  Pringle  being  one.  A  lady  as  much 
forgotten  to-day  as  the  worthy  President  (who,  indeed, 
has  a  sort  of  fame  in  being  frequently  referred  to  in  the 
great  biography)  was  Charlotte  Smith,  who  was  born  in 
King  Street  on  4th  May  1749.  She  has  been  described  as 
a  once  celebrated  novelist  and  sonneteer,  but  her  fame  is 
distinctly  of  yesterday.  She  died  in  1806,  and  all  that 



is  remembered  (if  they  be  remembered)  of  her  literary 
activity  are  her  two  later  works,  The  Old  English 
Manor  House  and  Emmeline. 

In  view  of  the  many  beautiful  things  which  have 
changed  hands  at  Christie's,  it  is  interesting  to  find  that 
when,  in  1783,  Sir  William  Hamilton  purchased  the 
famous  Barberini  vase,  he  took  lodgings  in  King  Street. 
Miss  Hamilton  writes  in  her  diary,  under  date  of  31st 
December  1783  :  "  We  went  to  my  uncle  Sir  W.  H.,  at 
the  Hotel  [?  Nerot's]  in  King  Street,  St  James's  ;  ye  Dss 
[of  Portland]  was  already  there ;  saw  ye  fine  Vase." * 

At  an  earlier  date,  Swift  speaks  of  Lady  Worsley  (a 
beauty  of  the  period,  wife  of  Sir  Robert  Worsley  and 
daughter  of  Lord  Weymouth)  lodging  "  in  the  very  house 
in  King  St.  where  D.  D.  's  mother  bought  the  sweetbread 
when  I  lodged  there,  and  M.  D.  came  to  see  me."  2 

King  Street  possesses  one  mural  tablet.  It  is  on  the 
small  house,  No.  3A,  at  the  St  James's  Square  end  of  the 
street.  Here  Louis  Napoleon  lodged ;  hence  he  set  out 
for  his  descent  on  Boulogne;  and  this  house  he  pointed 
out  to  his  Empress,  as  they  were  driving  down  St  James's 
Street  in  triumph  on  the  occasion  of  their  State  visit  to 
Queen  Victoria.  The  "Man  of  Destiny"  must  have 
had  strange  thoughts  as  he  compared  his  humble  style  of 
life  as  an  adventurer  whom  few  took  seriously,  with  his 
apotheosis  as  Emperor  of  a  great  people.  Even  his  in- 
scrutable eyes  must  have  lighted  up  for  a  moment  at  the 
revenges  which  Time  had  brought  him. 

He  lived  in  King  Street  for  two  years,  1838-1840, 
having,  when  he  came  here,  been  but  recently  expelled 
from  Switzerland.  While  here  he  was  enrolled  as  a 

1  Mrs  Delany's  Autobiography,  vol.  vi.,  p.  192. 

"Journal  to  Stella.  D.  D.  was  Mrs  Dingley;  M.  D.,  Stella 
herself.  When  Swift  speaks  of  lodging  here,  he  evidently  means 
in  Bury  Street,  where  he  had  rooms. 



special  constable  during  the  Chartist  riots,  and  he  also 
took  part,  in  August  1839,  in  the  famous  rain-spoilt 
Eglinton  Tournament. 

Bishop  Wilberforce,  in  his  diary,  describes  the  future 
Emperor  as  he  was  at  this  time,  and  particularly  mentions 
his  mean-looking  appearance;  he  was  small,  "with  a 
tendency  to  embonpoint,  and  had  a  remarkable  way  of,  as 
it  were,  swimming  up  a  room,  with  an  uncertain  gait ;  a 
small  grey  eye,  looking  cunning,  but  with  an  aspect  of 
softness  in  it  too." 

Notwithstanding  many  disabilities,  however,  and  the 
fact  that  he  was  a  proscribed  person,  he,  to  use  Archibald 
Forbes's  words,  "at  once  made  good  his  footing  in  the 
best  circles  of  the  British  capital,  and  he  became  immedi- 
ately a  personage  of  high  social  interest  and  importance." 
He  led  the  life  of  a  man  of  fashion  and  was  a  persona  grata 
at  Gore  House  ;  but  the  more  serious  side  of  his  character 
was  evinced  by  the  publication,  in  1839,  of  those  Idees 
Napoleoniennes,  which  have  been  described  as  "  the 
brightest  and  fullest  expression  "  of  his  mind. 

Although  the  house  in  King  Street  was  his  chief  pied-d- 
terre  at  this  period,  he  seems,  on  his  first  arrival  in  London, 
to  have  put  up  at  Fenton's  Hotel  in  St  James's  Street,  and 
to  have  spent  some  time  both  at  Lord  Cardigan's  house 
in  Carlton  House  Terrace  and  Lord  Ripon's  in  Carlton 

Nearly  opposite  Napoleon  III.  's  old  house  is  the  quaint, 
picturesque  little  building  (No.  29)  now  occupied  by  the 
Orleans  Club,  which  was  formed  in  1877,  and  largely 
identified  with  the  sporting  name  of  Sir  John  Astley — the 
Mate — who  so  greatly  interested  himself  in  the  club  when 
it  had  its  suburban  headquarters  at  Orleans  House, 




On  the  north  side  of  King  Street  are  two  thoroughfares, 
Bury  and  Duke  Streets.  The  former  (where  Brummeirs 
grandfather  let  lodgings,  by  the  by)  would  be  more  pro- 
perly written  Berry,  for  it  was  named  after  a  Mr  Berry,1 
the  ground-landlord  of  most  of  the  houses  in  it,  and  was 
formed  in  1672.  It  is  chiefly  notable  as  having  once  con- 
tained a  house  in  which  Steele  lived  from  1707  to  1710, 
and  another  where  Swift  lodged  at  various  times.  Fre- 
quent references  to  the  former,  which  was  next  door  to 
the  residence  of  Lady  Berkeley,  are  to  be  found  in  Steele's 
letters.  One  to  his  wife,  before  their  marriage,  contains 
the  following  : — "I  believe  it  would  not  be  amiss  if  some 
time  this  afternoon  you  took  a  coach  or  chair  and  went 
to  see  a  house  next  door  to  Lady  Berkeley's  towards  St 
James's  Street,  which  is  to  let."  On  other  occasions  he 
mentions  the  position  of  the  house  with  great  particularity, 
as  thus :  "  Mrs  Steele.  At  her  house  3rd  door  from 
Germain  Street,  left  hand  in  Berry  Street  " ;  and  again, 
"  Mrs  Steele.  At  her  house  the  last  house  but  two  on  the 
left  hand,  Berry  Street,  St  James's."  Mrs  Vanderput  was 
the  Steeles'  landlady  here.  We  know  that  once  she  had 
Dick  arrested  for  arrears  of  rent,  in  November  1708,  which 
no  doubt  was  the  reason  for  his  referring  to  her  (as  he 
does  in  a  letter  to  his  wife)  as  "  that  insufferable  brute." 

Two  years  later  Steele  again  came  to  lodge  here,  so  I 
suppose  either  that  he  had  made  it  up  with  Mrs  Vanderput 
or  that  another  landlady  ruled  in  her  place.  It  is  inter- 
esting in  connection  with  this  second  sojourn  to  find  the 
following  passage  in  a  letter  (dated  28th  July  1710)  from 
Dennis  the  critic  to  Steele2: — "I  should  only,  perhaps, 
have  advised  you,  in  order  to  the  preventing  some  trouble- 

1  He  died  in  1735,  and  was  then  over  one  hundred  years  of  age 

2  Given  in  London  Past  and  Present. 



some  visits,  and  some  impertinent  letters,  to  cause  an 
advertisement  to  be  inserted  in  Squire  Bickerstaff ' s  next 
Lucubrations,  by  which  the  world  might  be  informed  that 
the  Captain  Steele  who  lives  now  in  Bury  Street  is  not  the 
Captain  of  the  same  name  who  lived  there  two  years  ago, 
and  that  the  acquaintance  of  the  military  person  who  in- 
habited there  formerly,  may  go  look  for  their  old  friend, 
e'en  where  they  can  find  him."  From  what  we  know  of 
Dick  Steele's  history,  the  advice  is  suggestive. 

Steele 's  one-time  residence,  described  by  Cunningham 
as  "  over  against  No.  20,"  was  demolished  in  1830.  Swift 
first  came  to  lodge  in  Bury  Street  in  September  1710.  He 
refers  to  it  in  a  letter  to  Stella,  thus:  "I  lodge  in  Berry 
Street,  where  I  removed  a  week  ago.  I  have  the  first  floor, 
a  dining-room,  and  a  bed-chamber,  at  eight  shillings  a 
week  ;  playing  deep,  but  I  spend  nothing  for  eating,  never 
go  to  a  tavern,  and  very  seldom  in  a  coach  ;  yet,  after  all, 
it  will  be  expensive."  l  It  was  not  altogether  satisfactory 
apparently,  for  on  8th  November  he  writes  :  "  Impudence, 
if  you  vex  me ;  I  will  give  ten  shillings  a  week  for  my 

lodgings,  for  I  am  almost  st k  out  of  this  with  the  sink, 

and  it  helps  me  to  verses  in  my  '  shower. '  " a  And  again 
in  December  he  moans:  "What  is  this?  faith,  I  smell 
fire ;  what  can  it  be  ?  this  house  has  a  thousand  stinks 
in  it.  I  think  to  leave  it  on  Thursday,  and  lodge  over  the 
way."  Apparently  he  did  not  go  to  a  house  opposite,  for 
although  he  bespoke  it  the  landlord  let  it  to  someone  else. 
"  I  gave  him  no  earnest,  so  it  seems  he  could  do  it,"  writes 

The  result  was  that  he  had  to  find  apartments  elsewhere, 
and  settled  on  some  in  St  Albans  Street,  a  thoroughfare 

1  Journal  to  Stella,  2pth  September  1710. 

z  "  Returning  home  at  night,  you'll  find  the  sink 
Strike  your  offended  sense  with  double  stink." 

Description  of  a  City  Shower. 



removed  in  1815  to  make  way  for  Waterloo  Place.  At 
a  later  period,  however,  Swift  returned  to  Bury  Street, 
for  on  his  last  visit  to  England  in  1726  we  find  him 
lodging  there,  "next  to  the  'Royal  Chair."  Five  doors 
away  Mrs  Vanhomrigh  and  her  daughter  Vanessa  lived, 
and  it  was  in  their  Bury  Street  lodgings  that  the  latter, 
as  she  told  the  Dean,  saw  "something  in  your  looks  so 
awful  that  it  strikes  me  dumb." 

By  the  side  of  such  great  figures  as  those  of  Steele  and 
Swift  we  find  others  who  give  the  street  a  distinctly 
literary  air.  For  instance,  Tom  Moore  was  here  on  various 
occasions :  in  1805,  at  No.  27  (numbered  later  28),  whence 
he  dedicated  his  Odes  and  Epistles  to  Lord  Moira;  and, 
again,  in  1810,  where  the  advertisement  to  the  fourth 
number  of  his  Irish  Melodies  was  dated  and  whither  he 
brought  his  young  wife  in  the  following  year  ;  in  1814  he 
was  at  No.  33 ;  ten  years  later  at  No.  24 ;  and  in  1830  at 
No.  19.  He  seems  to  have  been  at  the  last  house  before,  as 
writing  to  Power,  he  remarks :  "I  would  not  go  to  him  [the 
landlord]  but  for  my  hatred  of  strange  places  and  faces." 

With  reference  to  the  first-named  house  we  have  the 
following  interesting  note  in  Moore's  diary  for  19th 
February  1828 : — 

"Went  with  Keppel  to  his  lodgings,  28  Bury  Street 
(formerly  27),  for  the  purpose  of  seeing  the  rooms  where 
he  lives  (second  floor)  which  were  my  abode  off  and  on  for 
ten  or  twelve  years.  The  sight  brought  back  old  times ; 
it  was  there  I  wrote  my  Odes  and  Epistles  from  America, 
and  in  the  parlour  Strangford  wrote  most  of  his  Camoens. 
In  that  second  floor  I  had  an  illness  of  eight  weeks,  of 
which  I  was  near  dying,  and  in  that  shabby  little  second 
floor,  when  I  was  slowly  recovering,  the  beautiful  Duchess 
of  St  Albans  (Miss  Mellon)  to  my  surprise  one  day  paid 
me  a  visit." 

E  65 


The  Keppcl  spoken  of  was  Major  Keppel,  a  son  of  Lord 
Albemarle.  A  new  building  has  long  replaced  the  house 
where  Moore  carolled  and  Lord  Strangford  made  known 
to  English  readers  the  beauties  of  the  unfortunate 

Another  poet  who  once  lodged  here  was  Crabbe  who, 
writing  in  his  journal  for  28th  June  1817,  notes  seeking 
lodgings  at  No.  37  Bury  Street  on  that  day.  Only  females 
were  visible  and  he  found  his  new  abode  "  a  little  mysteri- 
ous," and  was  at  a  loss  to  know  "whether  my  damsel  is 
extremely  simple,  or  too  knowing."  The  house  in  which 
he  occupied  rooms  was,  at  a  later  date,  turned  into  an 
hotel,  in  which  capacity  it  was  existing  in  1885. l 

It  was  here,  by  the  by,  that  the  Hon.  W.  Spencer, 
about  whom  Lamb  has  that  good  story,  and  who  wrote 
Beth  Gelert  and  translated  Lenore,  lived  for  a  time  in  1813. 

Another  of  Moore's  lodgings  was  once  occupied  by  a 
notable  man,  Daniel  O'Connell  staying  at  No.  19,  what 
time  the  struggle  for  Catholic  Emancipation  was  being 
fought  out  in  1829.  I  had  almost  written  that  G.  F. 
Cooke,  the  actor,  who  was  living  in  Bury  Street  in  1802, 
was  the  last  famous  inhabitant  to  be  noticed,  when  I  re- 
membered that  a  still  more  notable  person,  and  one  whose 
memory  will  last  as  long  as  any  of  those  mentioned,  once 
resided  here.  I  mean  the  immortal  Major  Pendennis.2 


Duke  Street  has  an  interest  apart  from  the  notable 
people  with  whom  it  is  associated,  for  it  was  the  first 

1  Hutton's  Literary  Landmarks  of  London. 

2  We  must  not  forget  that  Soame  Jenyns  died  in  Bury  Street,  in 
1787,  and  that  it  was  here,  on  one  occasion,  that  Horace  Walpole 
stood  in  the  snow,  with  only  slippers  on,  to  watch  a  fire  at  five 
o'clock  in  the  morning.    He  had  come  across  from  Arlington  Street 
for  that  purpose. 


thoroughfare  in  London  in  which  pavements  were  laid.1 
The  list  of  its  better-known  inhabitants  is  headed  by  that 
Sir  Carr  Scroope  whom  Rochester  lashes  in  his  poems,  and 
who  was  living  here  at  the  north  end  of  the  east  side  of 
the  street  from  1679  to  1683. 3  He  must  have  been  one  of 
the  earliest  residents,  as  the  thoroughfare  was  probably 
formed  not  earlier  than  1672.  Just  a  hundred  years  after 
Scroope's  departure  we  find  Mrs  Bellamy,  the  actress, 
writing  to  Dr  Johnson  from  No.  10,  asking  for  his  patron- 
age to  one  of  her  benefits,  as  she  was  then  "reduced  to 
distress  "  through  "  a  long  chancery  suit  and  a  compli- 
cated train  of  unfortunate  events."  3 

But  a  greater  than  Mrs  Bellamy  once  gave  distinction 
to  Duke  Street,  for  here  Edmund  Burke  was  lodging  at 
No.  67,  in  1790,  and  hence  he  dates  letters  to  Sir  Philip 
Francis.  The  Duke  Street  rooms  were  the  last  Burke 
occupied  in  London. 

There  seems  to  be  some  doubt  about  the  exact  date  of 
his  residence  here.  In  London  Past  and  Present,  which  I 
have  followed,  the  year  is  given  as  above,  and  the  letters 
substantiate  it.  In  Mr  Wheatley's  Round  About  Picca- 
dilly, however,  Burke  is  stated  to  have  lodged  at  No.  6  in 
1793,  and  at  No.  25  in  the  following  year ;  while  Old  and 
New  London  gives  the  date  of  his  residence  as  1795. 

At  an  earlier  period  Sugden,  the  future  Lord  Chancellor 
of  Ireland  and  England,  was  born  in  the  house  of  his 
father,  a  barber,  in  Duke  Street,  on  12th  February  1781. 
As  Lord  St  Leonards  he  died  so  late  as  1875,  and  his  will 
was,  it  may  be  remembered,  the  subject  of  much  litigation. 

Just  as  in  the  case  of  Bury  Street,  so  in  that  of 
Duke  Street,  a  literary  flavour  is  discernible — Campbell, 

1  A  like  claim  has  been  made  for  York  Street  leading  from 
St  James's  Square  to  Jermyn  Street.  It  is  probable  that  both 
streets  were  thus  paved  about  the  same  time,  as  experiments. 

8  London  Past  and[Present. 

3  Boswell's  Johnson. 



Moore,  and  Marryat  all  having  lived  here.  Campbell's 
lodgings  were  (in  1832)  at  No.  10,  subsequently  known  as 
Sussex  Chambers.  At  the  time  of  the  poet's  residence 
here  the  house,  in  which  he  occupied  an  upper  room,  was 
the  headquarters  of  the  Polish  Association,  presided  over 
by  Lord  Dudley  Coutts  Stuart.  Here  Campbell  led  a  life 
that  just  suited  him.  "  I  am  not,"  he  writes,  "  dissatis- 
fied with  my  existence  as  it  is  now  occupied."  He  break- 
fasted at  nine  and  then  went  to  his  club  till  twelve. 
'*  Then  I  sit  down,"  he  adds,  "'  to  my  own  studies  and, 
with  many  and  also  vexatious  interruptions,  do  what  I  can 
till  four.  I  then  walk  round  the  Park,  and  generally  dine 
at  six.  Between  nine  and  ten  I  return  to  chambers,  read 
a  book  or  write  a  letter,  and  go  to  bed  before  twelve." 

The  house  in  which  he  lived,  at  a  later  date  became  the 
home  of  the  Catholic  Union  of  Great  Britain.  It  was  a 
fine  mansion,  with  a  notable  staircase,  ornamental  ceilings 
and  mahogany  doors.  Below  were  spacious  vaults,  which 
tradition  carried  on,  by  passage-way,  under  Pall  Mall 
and  the  Park,  to  the  Houses  of  Parliament.  Tradition 
often  did  as  much  as  engineering  in  a  credulous  age. 
Another  story  was  that  the  house  had  once  been  occupied 
by  that  much-housed  potentate,  Oliver  Cromwell. 

Two  doors  away  (at  No.  8)  Captain  Marryat  was  lodging 
from  1837  to  1839.  The  house  still  preserves  much  of  the 
outward  appearance  it  bore  in  the  novelist's  time,  and  its 
substantial,  uncompromising  front  is  redolent  of  the 
domestic  town  architecture  of  a  century  ago.  Marryat 
was  a  Londoner  born,  but  it  has  been  rightly  said  of  him 
that  "no  better  painter  of  English  sailor-life  has  sought 
the  favour  of  the  reading  world  since  Smollett  gave  us 
Trunnion  and  Pipes."  Although  some  of  the  better- 
remembef  ed  productions  of  his  fertile  pen  appeared  before 
he  came  to  live  in  Duke  Street,  to  his  residence  there  may 
be  traced  Master-man  Ready  and  Percival  Keene,  Joseph 



Rushbrooke  and  The  Phantom  Ship,  while  Snarley-yow 
was  published  in  the  year1  he  took  up  his  residence  here. 

The  ubiquitous  Tom  Moore  is  traced  as  lodging  at  No.  15 
Duke  Street  in  1833.  From  his  diary  I  find  that  the  poet 
arrived  here  on  the  6th  of  March  and  appears  to  have 
stayed  till  the  24th  of  May,  when  he  left  for  Buckhill. 
While  here  he  frequented  Brooks 's,  visited  such  old  friends 
as  Lord  Lansdowne  and  Rogers,  and  had  his  boy  out  from 
the  Charterhouse  on  various  occasions,  duly  noted  in  his 

Among  other  past  residents  in  Duke  Street  was  William 
Jerrold,  the  naturalist,  whose  father  was  a  newsvendor  in 
the  thoroughfare.  The  son  was  faithful  to  the  spot,  for 
he  is  recorded  as  dying,  in  1861,  in  a  house  at  the  Duke 
Street  corner  of  Ryder  Street.  It  was,  no  doubt,  while 
there  that  he  was  occupied  with  the  preparation  of  those 
great  works  on  birds  and  fishes  with  which  his  name  is 
identified  and  which  appeared  during  the  years  1835-1843. 

As  in  the  case  of  Bury  Street,  so  here  I  make  an  end  of 
the  list  with  an  immortal — namely,  that  "  innocent  piece 
of  dinner  furniture  that  went  upon  easy  castors,  and  was 
kept  over  a  livery  stable-yard  in  Duke  Street,  St  James's," 
and  whose  name,  as  readers  of  Our  Mutual  Friend  will 
not  need  reminding,  was  Twemlow.  Here  he  underwent 
fearful  doubts  and  misgivings  as  to  whether  or  not  he  was 
really  the  oldest  friend  of  those  unspeakable  Veneerings.1 


In  early  days  the  western  end  of  this  thoroughfare — that 
is,  between  Bury  and  St  James's  Streets — was  known  as 
Little  Rider  Street,  and  it  is  so  given  in  Rhodes 's  plan  of 
the  parish,  dated  1770.  It  was  formed  in  1674,  and 

1 1  find  that  in  1748  a  Colonel  Russell,  of  the  Coldstreams,  was 
living  in  Duke  Street  (R.  Hist.  MSS.  Commission). 



received  its  name  from  that  of  a  Captain  Ryder,  who  had, 
in  1660,  set  up  gates  on  the  Parish  Lammas  Lands.1 

In  1693  Thomas  Dangan,  brother  of  the  Earl  of 
Limerick,  is  given  as  residing  "at  his  lodgings  in  Rider 
Street,  near  St  James's."  Not  long  after  Swift  was  in 
rooms  (apparently  in  1712)  which  he  describes  as  "over 
against  the  house  in  Little  Ryder  Street,"  where  Mrs 
Dingley  also  lived. 

One  of  the  Dean's  letters,  dated  from  Letcombe,  near 
Wantage,  in  1714,  is  addressed  to  "Mrs  Esther  Vanhom- 
righ,  at  her  lodgings  over  against  the  Surgeon's  in  Great 
Ryder  Street,  near  St  James's." 

There  must  have  been  happy  memories  for  this  turbul- 
ent spirit  in  the  Ryder  Street  abode,  either  of  himself  or 
Vanessa,  for,  at  a  later  date  (1722),  when  trying  to  raise 
his  fair  friend's  spirits,  he  remarks,  "remember  .  .  . 
Rider  Street."2 

As  this  is  the  sum  total  of  Ryder  Street's  history,  it 
will  be  seen  that  it  compares  unfavourably  in  this  respect 
with  the  neighbouring  thoroughfares. 

Fox  Court  was  a  tiny  cul-de-sac,  slightly  north  of  Ryder 
Street  and  divided  from  it  by  four  houses,  Nos.  26-29 
St  James's  Street,  as  shown  in  Horwood's  plan.  J.  T. 
Smith  mentions  a  certain  Norman,  a  dog  doctor,  as  having 
a  house  in  this  passage,  and  here  lodged  John  Keyse 
Sherwin,  in  whose  studio  Smith  served  his  apprenticeship. 
Miss  Hawkins,  in  her  entertaining  Memoirs,  complains 
that  Sherwin  was  in  the  habit  of  firing  pistols  out  of  his 
window  half  the  night,  and  she  adds  :  "  He  half-drowned 
his  pupils,  for,  sad  to  say,  he  had  pupils  in  punch."  Smith, 
who  ought  to  have  known,  controverts  this  statement  and 
takes  occasion  in  doing  so  to  say  that  he  certainly  was  not 

1  Rate  Books. 

2  London  Past  and  Present.    There  is  one  club— The  Eccentric — 
housed  in  Ryder  Street. 



a  pupil  in  this  sense.  With  regard  to  Norman,  Smith 
records  an  amusing  dialogue  between  Mrs  Norman  and 
Mrs  Nollekens,  on  the  subject  of  one  of  the  latter's  dogs. 
It  was  in  Sher win's  studio  that  Smith  met  the  beautiful 
Mrs  Robinson — the  Perdita  of  George  Prince  of  Wales 's 
Florizel — and  in  his  Book  for  a  Rainy  Day  he  tells  how,  as  a 
young  man,  he  received  a  kiss  from  her  here.  Here,  too, 
he  once  saw  Mrs  Siddons  sit  "  in  an  attitude  of  the  highest 
dignity,  in  the  character  of  the  Grecian  Daughter." l 


Jermyn  Street  took  form  rather  earlier  than  did  the 
other  tributary  thoroughfares  on  the  east  side  of  St 
James's  Street,  having  been  laid  out  about  the  year  1667. 
It  was  so  named  from  Henry  Jermyn,  Earl  of  St  Albans, 
who  developed  the  surrounding  property  in  the  early  years 
of  Charles  II. 's  reign.  In  common  with  Charles  Street, 
King  Street,  and  St  Albans  Street  (now  Waterloo  Place),  it 
was  one  of  the  first  thoroughfares  completed  north  of  Pall 
Mall,  as  a  part  of  this  building  scheme.  The  portion 
between  St  James's  Church  and  St  James's  Street  was 
originally  known  as  Little  Jermyn  Street,  the  rest  of  it  as 
Great  Jermyn  Street. 

One  of  the  earliest  residents  was  Sir  William  Stanley, 
who  in  the  year  of  the  street's  formation  is  rated  at  one 
pound  (which  he  did  not  pay,  by  the  by),  as  being  in 
"  Jarman  Street,  West  End,  North  Side."  This  spelling 
of  the  name  reminds  me  that  its  orthography  always  seems 
to  have  been  a  difficult  matter.  The  ways  (in  spelling) 

1  See  also  his  Nollekens  and  His  Times,  where,  by  the  by,  he 
mentions  a  certain  Vevini,  a  figure  maker,  who  was  living  in  St 
James's  Street,  as  producing  "a  fine  mould  of  the  Laocoon." 
When  Smith  wrote  his  book  (1828),  Vevini  was  in  his  eighty-ninth 
year,  and  was  then  styled  the  "  Father  of  the  Painters.'1  He  had 
been  a  pupil  of  Francis  Hayman. 



of  the  old  rate-collectors  were  proverbially  weird  and 
wonderful,  so  that  in  the  Rate  Books  one  naturally  expects 
to  find  variants  of  all  kinds,  but  even  Shadwell,  in  his 
Virtuoso,  published  in  1676,  sets  it  down  as  Germin,  and 
Lord  Arran  calls  it  Jermain  Street  in  1681,  while  Sir  John 
Banks  addresses  a  letter  to  Jerman  Street  in  1690,  and 
another  correspondent,  two  years  later,  writes  it  German 

Another  early  resident  was  Colonel  Churchill  (after- 
wards the  great  Duke  of  Marlborough),  who  occupied, 
from  1675  to  1681  a  house  at  the  west  end,  south  side, 
about  five  doors  down  the  thoroughfare.  Lord  Arran, 
writing  to  the  Duke  of  Ormond  on  28th  January  1682, 
says  :  "I  have  this  day  removed  to  Col.  Churchill's  house 
in  Jermain  Street."  Lady  Arran  was  expecting  the  birth 
of  a  child,  and  her  husband  seems  to  have  arranged  for  this 
residence  with  a  view  to  that  event.2  About  the  same 
time  the  Duchess  of  Richmond  (La  Belle  Stuart  of  De 
Grammont's  Memoirs)  was  living  on  the  north  side  of  the 
Street  (1681-1683),  where  she  was  succeeded  in  the  tenancy 
(in  1684)  by  the  Countess  of  Northumberland.  Next  door 
to  this  house  Henry  Saville,  the  friend  of  Lord  Rochester, 
was  residing  for  a  period  exactly  equalling  that  of  the 
Duchess  of  Richmond.  Three  doors  off  was  Simon 
Verelst,  the  painter,  of  whose  vanity  Walpole  has  left  us 
several  anecdotes.  To  this  house  Sir  William  Soames 
came  to  live  in  1684.  Sir  William  hangs  on  to  the  skirts 
of  fame  as  having  once  produced  a  poem  on  the  Art  of 
Poetry,  which  was  revised  by  no  less  a  person  than  Dryden. 

1  In  the  autobiography  of  Dr  George  Clarke,  among  the  Ley- 
bourne-Popham  MSS.,  I  find  the  following  reference  to  the  street : — 

"  I  was  put  to  school  at  one  Mr  Gordon,  a  Scotsman  who  lived  in 
what  is  since  called  Jermyn  Street." 

Clarke  was  born  in  1661,  and  stayed  at  Gordon's  school  till 
somewhat  over  ten  years  of  age. 

a  Hist.  MSS.  Commission. 



Another  fashionable  resident  was  the  Earl  of  Westmor- 
land, who  is  found  writing  to  the  Duke  of  Albemarle,  on 
28th  November  1681 ,  from  Jermyn  Street.  Some  years  later 
Sir  George  Rooke  dates  a  letter  (25th  May  1695)  to  Lord 
Shrewsbury  from  here,  and  in  1692  an  anonymous  corre- 
spondent of  Sir  Joseph  Williamson  directs  the  letter  to  "his 
house  in  German  Street,"  as  does  Sir  John  Banks  two  years 
earlier,  although  he  spells  it  differently,  thus:  "Jerman 
Streete."  Williamson  was  still  in  the  street  in  1696,  as 
letters  to  him  there  testify,  and  in  this  year  one  George 
Stokefield  writes  to  Madame  Higgins  "at  Mr  Greenvill's 
in  Jermyn  Street,  at  the  Two  Blue  Pyramids,"  an  unusual 
sign  which  has  eluded  the  vigilance  of  Larwood  and  Hatton. 

A  year  later  Sir  Isaac  Newton  was  living  in  a  house  near 
St  James's  Church,  and  remained  there  till  1709.  He 
appears,  however,  to  have  lodged  in  the  street  at  an  earlier 
date,  for  a  letter  written  by  Flamsteed  and  dated  2nd 
January  1689,  is  addressed  to  "Mr  Izaak  Newton,  at  his 
house  in  German  Street,  near  St  James's."  Two  years 
after  Newton  had  left,  Lady  Grendison  came  to  live  in 
Jermyn  Street,  and  the  letter  (from  Miss  E.  Pitt  to  her 
sister,  the  Hon.  Mrs  Pitt)  giving  this  information  tells  us 
of  the  presence  here  of  another  fashionable  lady.  "The 
house,"  she  writes,  "that  is  taken  for  my  Lady  Grendison 
is  in  Jermyn  Street  amost  opeset  to  Lady  Barrymore's. 
I  would  have  gone  to  see  it  but  have  had  no  coacth  to  go 

A    better-remembered    resident    was,    however,    Mr 
Secretary  Craggs,  who  died  here  in  1720,  so  suddenly  and 
mysteriously,  on  the  very  day  when  the  report  incrimin- 
ating him  with  complicity  in  the  South  Sea  Bubble,  was 
read  in  the  House  of  Commons.     Pope's  eulogistic  and 
friendly  epitaph  in  Westminster  Abbey  can  hardly  be 
regarded  as  impartially  stating  the  case  for  Craggs. 
1  Fortescue  MSS. 


A  still  more  famous  contemporary,  in  the  person  of 
Bishop  Berkeley,  was  lodging  here  in  1725,  as  we  find 
from  the  fact  that  he  desires  his  correspondent  to  address 
him  at  "Mr  Bindon's,  at  the  Golden  Globe  in  Jermyn's 
Street,  near  Piccadilly."  Another  resident  (in  1737)  was 
the  Dowager  Duchess  of  Portland,  who  died  at  her  house 

Lord  Carteret  was  staying  in  Jermyn  Street  in  June 
1734,  as  is  proved  by  a  letter  he  wrote  at  this  time  to  the 
Earl  of  March ;  and  just  as  he  represents  the  political 
world  in  the  street,  so  the  poets  Gray  and  Shenstone  give 
it  a  poetical  flavour.  Gray  was  here  in  lodgings  at  the  end 
of  1753.  On  the  5th  November  of  that  year  he  writes  to 
Mason,  asking  him  to  look  out  for  a  lodging  in  Jermyn 
Street,  but  that  he  won't  give  "  more  than  half  a  guinea  a 
week  for  it,  nor  put  up  with  a  second  floor,  unless  it  has 
a  tolerable  room  to  the  street."  The  apartments  were 
found  at  Robert's  the  hosier,  or  Frisby's  the  oilman,  in 
Jermyn  Street,  both  of  which  were  situated  at  the  east 
end  of  the  street,  though  on  different  sides  of  the  way. 
Gray  used  generally  to  take  his  dinner  alone,  it  being  sent 
in  to  his  lodgings  from  a  neighbouring  eating-house. 

Shenstone,  when  he  could  tear  himself  away  from  his 
beloved  "Leasowes,"  used,  in  London,  to  occupy  lodgings 
here ;  and  here  Dr  Hunter  began  the  formation  of  his 
remarkable  museum,  which  was  eventually  housed  in 
Windmill  Street.  His  "residence  here"  extended  from 
1750  to  1768,  and  on  his  leaving  the  Jermyn  Street  house 
his  brother,  John  Hunter,  came  to  live  in  it  till  1783, 
when  he  removed  to  Leicester  Square. 

Besides  those  I  have  mentioned  other  great  and  notable 

people  are   identified  with   Jermyn   Street :     the  Hon. 

Charles  Townshend  writes  to  Lord  Townshend  from  here 

in  1748;  Sir  George  Baker  addresses  letters  hence  in 

1  Mrs  Delany's  Autobiography,  vol.  i.,  p.  597. 



1764-1765  ;  Sir  George  Rooke  writes  to  Mr  Burchett  in 
1705  from  Jermyn  Street ;  the  elder  Pitt  was  here  in  1762, 
having  removed  in  that  year  from  St  James's  Square,  and 
here  had  the  meeting  with  Bute  concerning  a  coalition 
ministry  to  succeed  the  Grenville  administration ;  here 
Sydney  Smith  lodged  at  No.  81  in  1811,  and  Tom  Moore 
at  No.  58  in  1825.  Sir  Thomas  Lawrence  lodged  at  No.  42 
in  1790,  at  which  house  he  was  succeeded  by  Sir  Martin 
Shee,  who  lived  here  till  1796.  Lesser  names  are  those  of 
Sir  John  Irvine,  who  is  found  dating  letters  from  Jermyn 
Street  in  1777  and  1780  ;  Richardson  Pack,  who  writes  to 
Matthew  Prior  from  here  in  1719 ;  Lord  Kensington  in 
1781,  and  Governor  Hamilton  in  the  same  year.  In  1820 
E.  H.  Locker  asks  permission,  in  a  letter  bearing  the 
Jermyn  Street  address,  of  Lord  Dartmouth  to  publish 
certain  letters  of  George  III.'s;  and  here,  in  1832,  Mr 
Gladstone,  on  his  first  entering  Parliament,  took  rooms 
over  the  shop  of  a  corn  chandler  named  Crampern  (a 
relative  of  one  of  his  Newark  constituents),  a  few  doors 
west  from  York  Street,  as  he  once  told  Mr  Dasent.1 

In  a  list  of  "  Persons  who  Paid  Tax  on  Male  Servants  in 
1780  "  the  names  of  Sir  George  Baker  and  the  Hon.  Mrs 
Cooper  appear  as  residents  in  Jermyn  Street. 

Jermyn  Street  has  always  been  a  street  of  hotels,  not 
of  those  vast  caravanserai  which  have  sprung  up  in  other 
parts  of  London,  but  of  those  smaller  "  family  "  resting- 
places  which  seem  to  be  redolent  of  the  earlier  years  of 
last  century.  There  was,  for  instance,  the  Gun  Tavern, 
kept  by  Rouelle  (afterwards  an  active  member  of  the 
French  National  Assembly),  a  great  haunt  of  foreigners, 
whose  patronage  it  shared  with  Grenier's  Hotel2  close  by. 

1  See  History  of  St  James's  Square. 

3  Lord  Auckland  writing  to  Lord  Grenville,  on  7th  July  1793, 
mentions  a  Mr  Crawford  -'  who  lodges  at  Conest's  Hotel,  in  Jermyn 



Of  Grenier's  Mr  Storey,  writing  to  Lord  Auckland,  on  24th 
September  1789,  remarks :  "  Saintefoy  has  been  out  of 
town  for  these  few  days,  but  I  believe  he  is  shortly  to 
return  to  Grenier's  Hotel,  in  Jermyn  Street,  the  grand 
resort  of  the  illustrious  fugitives  from  France,  where, 
amongst  others,  is  Madame  de  Boufflers  and  the  Countess 
Emilie."  One  likes  to  think  that  it  was  from  here  that 
Madame  de  Boufflers  set  out  on  her  famous  visit  to  Dr 
Johnson  in  the  Temple.  There  are  plenty  of  hotels  in 
Jermyn  Street  to-day,1  but  the  place  of  one  is  now  a 
Turkish  Baths  and  the  Hammam  Chambers,  and  this  one 
was  the  most  famous  of  them  all,  for  here,  in  July  1832, 
Scott  came  on  his  return  from  the  Continent  a  dying  man, 
and  here  he  lay,  half  dreaming  and  half  dead,  for  three 
weeks  before  being  carried,  on  his  last  sad  journey,  to  his 
own  home  beside  the  rippling  Tweed. 

The  Museum  of  Practical  Geology,  whose  other  front 
looks  so  strange  in  shop-lined  Piccadilly,  is  in  this  street, 
and  is,  indeed,  sometimes  known  as  "  The  Jermyn  Street 
Museum  " ;  and  also  here  is  St  James's  Church,  or,  rather, 
that  part  of  it  that  cannot  be  said  to  be  in  Piccadilly. 

Erected  by  Lord  St  Albans  in  1680  it  owes  much  to  the 
combined  genius  of  Wren  and  Grinling  Gibbons.  Its  organ 
once  belonged  to  James  II.  ;  three  of  its  rectors  have 
become  Archbishops  of  Canterbury :  Tenison,  Wake,  and 
Seeker.  Here  the  Princess  Anne  used  to  attend  divine 
service  when  living  at  Berkeley  House,  and  Defoe,  who 
was  scandalised  at  the  charges  made  for  a  seat,  "where 
it  costs  one  almost  as  dear  as  to  see  a  play, "according  to 
Mackay  who,  however,  remarks  on  the  "fine  assembly 

1  A  quarter  of  a  century  ago  there  were  Rawlings*  at  Nos.  37-38  ; 
The  Brunswick  at  Nos.  52-53  ;  Cox's  at  No.  55  ;  the  Cavendish  at 
No.  8 1  ;  the  British  at  Nos.  82-83  ;  the  Waterloo  at  Nos.  85-86  ; 
some  of  which  survive.  Jules  is  here,  too,  and  the  ubiquitous 
Lyons ! 



of  beauties  and  quality  "  that  came  there,  including  my 
Lord  Foppington.  The  churchyard  (where  Gibbon  once 
stumbled  and  sprained  his  foot)  as  well  as  the  church  is 
full  of  illustrious  dead.  Cotton,  the  friend  and  collabora- 
tor of  Izaak  Walton,  lies  here,  and  Tom  D'Urfey,  whose 
4  pills  to  purge  melancholy '  formed  a  prescription  that 
many  partook  of;  Van  der  Velde,  the  royal  marine 
painter,  and  Dahl  and  Hayman,  once  fashionable  portrait 
painters,  and  Harlowe,  famous  for  his  historical  scenes. 
Mrs  Delany,  who  lived  and  died  in  St  James's  Place,  is 
buried  here,  and  Akenside,  who  expired  in  Old  Burlington 
Street ;  Dodsley  was  carried  hither  from  51  Pall  Mall,  and 
Gillray  from  29  St  James's  Street ;  while  that  awful 
"  Old  Q  "  rests  within  the  sound  of  the  Piccadilly  of 
which  he  was  once  the  most  notorious  resident.  At  the 
beautiful  font,  which  the  art  of  Gibbons  adorned,  the 
great  Chatham  and  the  exquisite  Chesterfield  had  been 

As  one  takes  leave  of  Jermyn  Street,  with  its  pleasant 
trees  shading  the  churchyard,  one  remembers  the  curious 
story  (told  by  Dr  William  King  and  retold  by  Mr  WThitten) 1 
of  the  eccentric  Mr  Home,  who,  one  day  in  the  year  1706, 
disappeared  from  his  wife  and  family  here  and  remained 
securely  hidden  no  farther  off  than  Westminster  for  seven- 
teen years  ;  after  which  he  returned  and  apparently  lived 
happily  ever  after.  The  story  only  proves  what  anyone 
(not  wanted  by  the  police)  knows — viz.  that  London  is 
the  easiest  place  in  the  world  to  hide  oneself  in,  but  it 
seems  also  to  indicate  a  kink  in  Mr  Home. 

1  Anecdotes  of  his  Own  Time  and  A  Londoner's  London. 





THE  first  turning  we  come  to  in  descending  St  James's 
Street  on  the  west  side  is  Bennet  Street.  It  takes  its  name 
from  Henry  Bennet,  Earl  of  Arlington,  one  of  the  Cabal 
ministry,  who  owned  the  ground  on  which  it  was  formed  in 
1679.  It  is  a  small  street  and  serves  chiefly  as  a  means  of 
communication  between  St  James's  Street  and  Arlington 
Street.  Yet  it  has  its  memories,  for  Byron,  "Leonidas  " 
Glover,  and  Zoffany,  the  painter,  have  all  lived  in  it.1 

Zoffany  was  here  (on  his  return  from  India)  from  1795 
to  1796,  and  by  the  Rate  Books  I  find  he  paid  forty  pounds 
rent.  The  house  was  empty  during  the  quarter  from 
Christmas  to  Lady  Day,  after  which  the  painter  apparently 
gave  it  up.  He  probably  took  it  on  a  yearly  tenancy. 

When  exactly  Glover  was  living  in  Bennet  Street  I 
cannot  trace.  He  doubtless  occupied  lodgings,  so  the 
Rate  Books  are  no  guide.  His  residence  is  said  to  have 
been  at  No.  9,  at  the  north-west  corner  of  St  James's 
Street,  where  Messrs  Hoopers'  premises  are  now.  As  he 
died  in  Albemarle  Street  in  1785  it  is  probable  that  he 
went  there  from  his  Bennet  Street  lodging.  Glover  is 
so  absolutely  the  man  of  one  book  that  the  title  of  it  is 

1  In  1722  a  Mr  Wild  was  living  there,  and  on  igth  October  of 
that  year  a  letter  was  addressed  "  to  Mr  Fiord  at  Mr  Wild's  in 
Bennet  Street."  It  was  one  of  the  communications  of  Jacobites 
concerned  in  Layer's  conspiracy. 



invariably  appended  to  his  name  —  Leonidas  Glover  — 
although  he  produced  other  poems,  such  as  his  London,  in 
1739  ;  his  Boadicea,  in  1753  ;  and  a  stupendous  AtJienaid 
in  thirty  books,  brought  out  posthumously,  in  1787,  by  his 

Byron's  residence  in  Bennet  Street  was  of  an  equally 
short  duration,  for  we  find  him  living  at  No.  4,  between 
1813  and  1814.  At  that  time  a  Miss  Bayfield  is  given  in 
the  Rate  Books  as  occupying  the  house,  and  it  was  with 
her,  no  doubt,  that  Byron  lodged.  At  this  period  the 
poet  was  composing  The  Giaour,  The  Bride  of  Abydos,  and 
The  Corsair,  parts  of  which  were  probably  written  in  the 
little  house  in  what  Byron  used  sometimes  playfully  to 
call  Benedictine  Street.1 

From  the  poet's  journal  it  would  appear  that  he 
remained  in  Bennet  Street  till  28th  March  1814,  when 
he  records  taking  possession  of  his  new  apartments  in 
Albany.2  He  had  first  gone  to  No.  4  in  April  1813,  appar- 
ently, as  a  letter  from  him  to  Murray,  dated  the  21st  of 
that  month,  mentions  that  he  "  shall  be  in  town  by  Sunday 
next,"  and  asks  his  publisher  to  "send  in  my  account  to 
Bennet  Street."  We  are  thus  able,  approximately,  to 
trace  Byron's  residence  here  from  April  1813  to  March 

The  associations  of  Bennet  Street  are  few  though  inter- 
esting ;  those  of  Arlington  Street  are  as  interesting  and  far 
more  numerous. 

Arlington  Street  was  formed  in  1689,  on  ground  which 
had  been  granted  to  Lord  Arlington  by  Charles  II.  eight 
years  earlier.  Arlington,  on  becoming  possessed  of  the 

1  A  letter  to  Moore,  8th  July  1813,  is  so  headed. 

2  See  Moore's  Life  of  Byron. 



property,  almost  immediately  sold  it  to  a  Mr  Pym  who 
proceeded  to  develop  it,  and  for  long  inhabited  one  of  the 
larger  houses  erected  in  the  street.     The  process  of  build- 
ing was  carefully  watched  by  Sir  Dudley  North  who, 
according  to  his  brother  Roger's  testimony,  took  special 
interest  in  viewing  the  development  of  London.     "Wher- 
ever there  was  a  parcel  of  building  going  on  he  went  to 
survey  it,  and  particularly  the  high  buildings  in  Arlington 
Street,  which  were  scarce  covered  in  before  all  the  windows 
were  wry-mouthed,  fascias  turned  SS,  and  divers  stacks 
of  chimnies  sunk  right  down,  drawing  roof  and  floors  with 
them  ;  and  the  point  was  to  find  out  whence  all  this  decay 
proceeded."1    Roger  North  adds  that:    "We  (evidently 
he  was  his  brother's  companion  on  many  of  these  inquir- 
ing rambles)  had  conversed  so  much  with  new  houses 
that  we  were  almost  turned  rope-dancers  and  walked  as 
familiarly  upon  joists  in  garrets,  having  a  view  through 
all  the  floors,  down  to  the  cellar,  as  if  it  had  been  plain 
ground."    It   does   not   appear  that   the  Norths   satis- 
factorily found  out  the  cause  of  the  subsidence  in  Arlington 
Street.    Whatever  it  was,  it  was,  no  doubt,  rectified,  as 
the  houses  were  almost  immediately  taken,  and  by  persons 
described  in  the  manner  of  the  period  as  "of  the  first 
quality."    For  instance,  the  Duchess  of  Cleveland,  find- 
ing after  Charles  II.  's  death  that  the  upkeep  of  Berkshire 
House  was  too  heavy  a  drain  on  her  purse,  took  a  house 
here  and  lived  in  it  for  five  years  (1691-1696).    The  year 
after  she  had  come  into  residence  she  had  as  a  neighbour 
the  Duchess  of  Buckingham,  widow  of  the  second  Duke 
and  daughter  of  Fairfax,  the  great  Parliamentary  general, 
whose  frivolities  and  eccentricities  have  been  perpetuated 
by  Dryden  in  a  famous  passage.     She  remained  here  but 
two  years,  and  then  the  "little,  round,  crumpled  woman, 
very  fond  of  finery,"  as  Bishop  Percy  describes  her,  went 
1  Lives  of  the  Norths,  vol.  iii.,  p.  210. 


elsewhere  till  her  death  in  1705,  just  four  years  before  her 
one-time  neighbour,  the  Duchess  of  Cleveland,  expired  at 
Chiswick.  Another  distinguished  resident  in  Arlington 
Street  was  the  Marquis  of  Dorchester,  better  known  as 
the  Duke  of  Kingston,  and  best  remembered  as  the  father 
of  Lady  Mary  Wortley  Montagu.  The  Taller  (for  5th 
August  1710)  contains  an  advertisement  indirectly  re- 
ferring to  Lord  Dorchester's  house,  as  follows: — "In 
Arlington  Street,  next  door  to  the  Marquis  of  Dorchester, 
is  a  large  house  to  be  let,  with  a  garden  and  door  into  the 

About  this  time  Hatton *  describes  the  thoroughfare  as 
being  very  graceful  and  pleasant,  with  excellent  houses 
inhabited  by  nobility  and  gentry,  running  parallel  with 
St  James's  Street,  out  of  Portugal  Street  by  which  name 
this  end  of  Piccadilly  was  still  known. 

Not  only  was  Arlington  Street  then  "well  inhabited," 
as  Strype  is  fond  of  phrasing  it,  but  it  continued  to  be 
and,  as  we  all  know,  still  is.  In  1698  Lords  Brook, 
Cholmondeley,  Guildford,  Kingston  and  Peterborough 
were  all  residing  here ;  a  year  earlier  Lord  Monmouth 
was  here,  and  Lord  Dartmouth  appears  to  have  been  one 
of  the  earliest  residents  in  1691.  A  reference  to  Lord 
Monmouth 's  house  is  contained  in  a  letter  dated  28th  April 
1697,  from  its  owner  to  Ulysses  Browne,  relative  to  an 
assault  on  the  Earl  at  Chelsea  by  Browne  and  others.8 
Lord  Dartmouth  was  inhabiting  what  were  then  termed 
Arlington  Buildings,  a  kind  of  forerunner  of  the  modern 
flats,  I  presume.  In  the  Dartmouth  MSS.  I  find  Lord 
Dartmouth  complaining  of  his  house  in  Arlington  Street 
being  searched  and  his  papers  examined  and  impounded, 
in  1691.  He  came  up  from  the  country  with  a  Mr  Ryley, 
who  was  to  make  the  inquisition  which  appears  to  have 

1  New  View  of  London,  1708. 
8  Buccleuch  MSS. 

F  8l 


been  a  very  thorough  one.  The  later  history  of  Dart- 
mouth's undoubted  disloyalty  to  William  III.  is  well 
known ;  he  had  plotted  with  James  II.  and  was  caught 
and  thrown  into  the  Tower,  where  he  died  of  apoplexy.1 

The  peers  mentioned  above  as  living  in  Arlington  Street 
in  1698,  were  all  there  ten  years  later,  with  the  exception 
of  Lord  Peterborough,  and,  in  addition,  the  Duke  of 
Richmond,  one  of  Charles  II. 's  sons,  had  come  to  live 
there.  He,  together  with  Lord  Cholmondeley  and  Lord 
Guildford,  were  still  residing  there  in  1724.  The  Duke  of 
Kingston's  house  (to  anticipate  dates  a  little)  remained  in 
his  family  till  1770,  when  it  was  sold  by  the  2nd  Duke 
for  nearly  £17,000. 

In  1711  the  Earl  of  Stair  was  living  here,  and  three  years 
later  Lord  Clarendon  is  found  dating  letters  from  his  house 
in  Arlington  Street,  and  in  the  same  year  Baron  Bothmer 
writes  to  Lord  Dartmouth  from  here.  But  greater  than 
these  have  shed  lustre  on  the  street.  Pulteney,  Earl  of 
Bath,  who  occupied  a  house  on  the  west  side,  from  1715 
till  he  went  to  the  larger  mansion  (now  Bath  House)  in 
Piccadilly ;  and,  a  year  later,  Sir  Robert  Walpole,  who 
came  to  reside  next  door  and  remained  there  till  1742, 
when  he  went  over  the  way  to  No.  5.  In  the  former  of 
these  dwellings  Horace  Walpole  was  born  in  1717.  It 
was  on  the  ministerial  side  of  the  street,  and  only  when 
Sir  Robert  went  out  of  office  did  he  retire  to  the  "non- 
ministerial  "  side.2  In  the  smaller  house  he  died  in  1746, 
leaving  the  property  to  Horace,  who  continued  to  make 
it  his  London  headquarters  till  his  removal  to  Berkeley 
Square  in  1779.  Horace  Walpole's  letters  are  full  of 
allusions  to  No.  5  Arlington  Street.  From  one  of  them 

1  See  Macaulay's  History,  vol.  iv.,  pp.  20-23. 

2  In  1749  Sir  William  Codrington,  M.P.  for  Beverley  ;  John  Pitt, 
Esq.,  M.P.  for  Wareham  ;   and  C.  H.  Walpole,  Esq.,  M.P.  for 
Callington,  were  among  Arlington  Street  residents. 



(to  Mann,  dated  6th  January  1743)  it  appears  that  No.  5 
had  belonged  for  some  time  to  Sir  Robert,  who  had  let  it 
probably  with  a  view  to  living  there  when  he  should  have 
given  up  the  reins  of  Government.  From  another  letter 
(to  Montagu,  1st  December  1768)  we  find  the  street  well 
keeping  up  its  aristocratic  character : 

"Nothing  can  bqfcmore  dignified  than  this  position," 
complacently  remarks  Horace.  "From  my  earliest 
memory  Arlington  Street  has  been  the  ministerial  street. 
The  Duke  of  Grafton  is  actually  coming  into  the  house 
of  Mr  Pelham,  which  my  Lord  President  is  quitting,  and 
which  occupies,  too,  the  ground  on  which  my  father  lived  ; 
and  Lord  Weymouth  has  just  taken  the  Duke  of  Dorset's  : 
yet  you  and  I,  I  doubt,  shall  always  be  on  the  wrong  side 
of  the  wav." 


In  later  days  Sir  Robert  Walpole's  second  Arlington 
Street  house  became  the  London  residence  of  Edward 
Ellice,  Esq.,  M.P.,  and  then  of  Sir  R.  G.  Phillimore.  On 
its  front  a  tablet  informs  the  passer-by  that  here  once  lived 
one  of  England's  greatest  Prime  Ministers. 

There  seems  to  have  been  an  idea  of  George  Montagu's 
coming  to  the  house  next  door  but  one  to  No.  5,  for  Horace 
Walpole  writes  to  him  (in  the  letter  already  quoted  from) 
thus : 

"I  like  your  letter,  and  have  been  looking  at  my 
next  door  but  one.  The  ground  story  is  built,  and  the 
side  walls  will  certainly  be  raised  another  floor  before  you 
think  of  arriving.  I  fear  nothing  for  you  but  the  noise  of 
workmen,  and  of  this  street  in  front,  and  Piccadilly  on  the 
other  side.  If  you  can  bear  such  a  constant  hammering 
and  hurricane,  it  will  rejoice  me  to  have  you  so  near  me  ; 
and  then  I  think  I  must  see  you  oftener  than  I  have  done 
these  ten  years." 

In  the  last  house  in  the  street  on  the  Green  Park  side 
John,  Lord  Carteret,  afterwards  Earl  Granville,  lived. 



He  writes  from  here  to  Swift  in  1724,  and  again  in  1737,1 
and  just  ten  years  later  he  rebuilt  the  house.  Mrs 
Pendarves  tells  Ann  Granville,  afterwards  Mrs  Delany, 
in  August  1732,  that :  "Lady  Carteret  writes  me  word 
that  she  has  bought  the  ground  her  house  stood  on  in 
Arlington  Street,  and  that  my  lord  designs  to  build  there." 
At  a  later  period  Lord  Gage  occupied  this  residence.  Ten 
years  later  we  find  Mrs  Pendarves  informing  Mrs  Dewes 
that  she  dined  at  Lord  Granville 's  on  two  consecutive 

Another  resident,  of  whom  we  get  a  glimpse  in  Mrs 
Delany 's  Autobiography,  was  Lady  Weymouth,  who  was 
then  (1769)  busy  moving  from  Pall  Mall  to  the  Duke  of 
Dorset's  old  house  in  Arlington  Street,2  a  piece  of  infor- 
mation already  supplied  us  by  Horace  Walpole. 

Pelham's  house  afterwards  became  the  property  of 
Lady  Pomfret.  It  had  been  rebuilt,3  in  the  pseudo-Gothic 
manner  beloved  of  Walpole,  by  Kent,  and  is  still  a  curious 
feature  and  not  a  very  congruous  one  in  a  street  that  was 
never  architecturally  of  much  note.  Later,  W.  Gerard 
Hamilton  (Single-Speech  Hamilton)  occupied  it,  and  letters 
from  him  dated  from  here  in  1767  and  1772  are  extant. 
In  his  time  an  accident  occurred  here,  thus  referred  to  by 
Walpole :  "  One  of  the  Gothic  towers  of  Lady  Pomfret 's 
house  (now  Single-Speech  Hamilton's)  in  my  street,  fell 
through  the  roof,  and  not  a  thought  of  it  remains. "  Later 
the  house  (No.  17)  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Earl  of 
Yarborough,  whose  family  still  occupies  it. 

1  Mrs  Delany 's  Autobiography,  vol.  i.,  p.  599. 

2  Mrs  Delany  to  Lord  Andover,  7th  January  1769.     In  the  List 
of  Persons  Paying  Taxes  for  Male  Servants  in  1780,  Lord  Aylesford 
is  given  as  paying  for  seventy-one  (sic)  and  Mrs  Clive  for  four,  in 
Arlington  Street. 

3  It  had  been  rebuilt  by  Kent  before  Pelham  came  to  live  in  it. 
Letters  of  Pelham  to  Viscount  Irwin,  dated   1745,  and  from  the 
Duke  of  Grafton  to  the  same  in  1770,  are  headed  Arlington  Street. 



The  house  next  door,  No.  18,  was  at  one  time  the 
residence  of  Sir  John  Fender,  Bart.,  M.P.,  who  here 
collected  a  fine  gallery  of  pictures,  chiefly  of  the  modern 
school.  In  1906  the  place  was  in  possession  of  Sir 
Alexander  Henderson,  Bart.,  M.P.  No.  19  is  the  town 
residence  of  the  Marquis  of  Zetland,  and  No.  20  that  of 
the  Marquis  of  Salisbury.  The  present  house  is  a  rebuilt 
structure  on  the  site  of  the  former  residence  owned  by 
the  Cecil  family,  its  reconstruction  having  been  carried  out 
about  1870.  In  the  former  house,  in  April  1786,  George 
III.,  with  other  members  of  the  Royal  family,  attended 
the  christening  of  the  daughter  of  the  1st  Marquis  of 
Salisbury,  a  child  who  eventually  became  Lady  Cowley. 
Lady  Salisbury  of  those  days  was  a  redoubtable  leader  of 
fashion  and  was  known  to  her  intimates  as  "  Old  Sarum." 
She  is  referred  to  in  The  New  Monthly  Magazine  for  1821, 
where  the  writer  remarks  :  "  The  man  of  fashion  .  .  . 
lounges  at  the  subscription  house  and  votes  Sunday  a 
complete  bore  until  it  is  time  to  drop  in  at  the  Marchioness 
in  Arlington  Street."  Creevey,  in  1821,  calls  her,  not 
without  reason,  "the  head  and  ornament  and  patroness 
of  the  beau  monde  of  London  for  the  last  forty  years. "  In 
Raikes'  Journal  and  the  innumerable  memoirs  and  diaries 
of  the  period,  the  name  of  Lady  Salisbury  is  of  almost 
as  frequent  recurrence  as  that  of  Lady  Jersey.  The 
Marchioness,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  burnt  to  death 
at  Hatfield  in  1834.  At  No.  21,  once  the  residence  of 
M.  Van  der  Weyer,  the  Belgian  minister,  and  for  long  that 
of  his  son  and  daughter-in-law,  Victor  W.  Van  der  Weyer 
and  Lady  Emily  Van  der  Weyer,  Lord  Sefton — "The 
pet,"  as  Creevey  terms  him — used  to  give  those  famous 
dinners,  produced  under  the  superintendence  of  Ude, 
at  which  most  of  the  great  ones  of  the  time  were  guests. 
Lord  Sefton,  that  gigantic  humpback,  as  Gronow  calls 
him,  was  not  only  a  gourmet  but  a  confirmed  gambler, 



and  towards  the  close  of  his  life  became  a  great  liabitue 
of  the  neighbouring  Crockford's.  He  was,  besides,  a  fine 
whip  and  was  a  power  in  the  original  Four-in-Hand  Club 
in  the  days  of  the  Regent. 

No.  22,  now  known  as  Wimborne  House,  is  the  resi- 
dence of  the  present  (2nd)  Lord  Wimborne,  whose  father 
purchased  it  in  1867,  while  he  was  still  Sir  Ivor  Guest. 
Originally  it  was  the  property  of  the  Marquis  Camden, 
son  of  the  great  judge,  who  died  in  1840. l  After  him 
came  the  7th  Duke  of  Beaufort,  who,  as  Lord  Worcester, 
had  been  aide-de-camp  to  Wellington  in  the  Peninsular 
War  and  after  Vittoria  had  nearly  succeeded  in  capturing 
Joseph  Bonaparte  as  he  fled  from  the  field.  He  re- 
christened  the  house  after  his  own  name  and  reconstructed 
it,  employing  Owen  Jones  and  Q.  Latella  to  superintend 
its  decoration.  In  1852,  however,  a  year  before  his  death, 
he  sold  the  house  to  the  llth  Duke  of  Hamilton,  the  price 
paid  being,  it  is  said,  £60,000.  The  latter  in  turn  ex- 
pended large  sums  on  the  mansion,  in  which  evidences  of 
his  ownership  may  still  be  seen  in  some  of  the  iron  fire- 
backs  which  bear  his  coronet  and  the  famous  Hamilton 
motto  :  "Thorough."  The  Duke  died  in  July  1863,  and 
his  widow,  who  had  been  Princess  Marie  of  Baden,  on  the 
question  of  whose  precedence  in  this  country,  she  not 
being  allied  to  one  of  royal  birth,  some  interesting  refer- 
ences will  be  found  in  Queen  Victoria's  letters,  continued 
to  reside  here  for  a  time.2 

At  the  further  end  of  Arlington  Street  is  No.  16,  the 
last  house  on  that  side  facing  the  Park,  now  the  residence 
of  the  Duke  of  Rutland.  It  formerly  belonged  to  Lord 
Gage,  and  here,  in  1827,  while  occupied  by  a  former  duke, 

1  A  letter  from  him  to  Lord  Lowther  is  dated  24th  January  1806 
from  here. 

2  See  for  a  fuller  account  of  the  house  and  its  contents,  the 
author's  Private  Palaces  of  London. 



occurred  the  death  oi'  the  Duke  of  York,  to  whom  the 
house  had  been  lent  in  the  previous  year. 

Between  the  occupancy  of  the  house  by  the  former 
Duke  of  Rutland  and  the  present  holder  of  the  title  (who 
acquired  it  in  1897,  when  still  Marquis  of  Granby)  it  was 
tenanted  by  Lord  Dudley,  and  was  at  one  time  the  property 
of  Colonel  John  Sidney  North,  from  whom  it  passed  to 
Lord  North. 

In  the  Park — then  known  as  Upper  St  James's  Park — 
behind  this  house  was  fought  the  duel  between  Pulteney 
and  Lord  Hervey,  on  25th  January  1731,  as  recorded  by 
Thomas  Pelham  in  a  letter  to  Lord  Waldegrave.  It  has 
been  stated  that  the  encounter  actually  took  place  in 
the  garden  of  No.  16,  but  this  statement  has  not  been 

Returning  to  the  smaller  houses  opposite,  and  it  is  an 
interesting  fact  to  remember  that  there  is  no  record  of 
the  numbers  ever  having  been  changed,  we  find  that  at 
No.  6  once  lived  Lord  Melville,  First  Lord  of  the  Admiralty, 
and  friend  of  Pitt,  and  that  appropriately  in  another 
close  by  (the  actual  number  of  which  is,  unfortunately, 
not  ascertainable)  Nelson  lodged  during  the  winter  of 
1800-1801.  Mr  Haslewood,  one  of  Nelson's  executors, 
in  a  communication  to  Sir  Harris  Nicolas,  described  the 
following  scene  as  having  taken  place  here  : — 

"In  the  winter  of  1800-1801  (Jan.  13th),  I  was  break- 
fasting with  Lord  and  Lady  Nelson,  at  their  lodgings 
in  Arlington  Street  and  a  cheerful  conversation  was  pass- 
ing on  indifferent  subjects,  when  Lord  Nelson  spoke  of 
something  which  had  been  done  or  said  by  'dear  Lady 
Hamilton,'  upon  which  Lady  Nelson  rose  from  her  chair 
and  exclaimed  with  much  vehemence :  '  I  am  sick  of 
hearing  of  dear  Lady  Hamilton  and  am  resolved  that  you 
shall  give  up  either  her  or  me. '  Lord  Nelson,  with  perfect 



calmness,  said :  '  Take  care,  Fanny,  what  you  say ;  I 
love  you  sincerely,  but  I  cannot  forget  my  obligations  to 
Lady  Hamilton  or  speak  of  her  otherwise  than  with 
affection  and  admiration.'  Without  one  soothing  word 
or  gesture,  but  muttering  something  about  her  mind 
being  made  up,  Lady  Nelson  left  the  room  and  shortly 
after  drove  from  the  house.  They  never  lived  together 

At  No.  14  lived  and  died  General  Fitzpatrick,  the  friend 
of  Fox,  Sheridan  (with  whom  he  was  concerned  in  some  of 
those  practical  jokes  beloved  by  Sherry),  and  the  wits  of 
that  day.  Fitzpatrick  was  a  wit  and  a  man  of  pleasure 
himself,  and  many  are  the  references  to  him  in  these 
capacities,  in  Rogers 's  Table  Talk.  One  entry  in  that 
amusing  collection  tells  how  Fitzpatrick  remembered 
the  time  "when  St  James's  Street  used  to  be  crowded 
with  the  carriages  of  the  ladies  and  gentlemen  who  were 
walking  in  the  Mall — the  ladies  with  their  heads  in  full 
dress  and  the  gentlemen  carrying  their  hats  under  their 
arms."  Another  records  how  one  day,  immediately  pre- 
ceding Fitzpatrick's  death,  Rogers  walked  to  his  house  in 
Arlington  Street  to  inquire  after  him,  and  just  as  he 
reached  the  door  Fox  came  out,  sobbing  violently. 

This  anecdote  brings  me  to  Fox's  own  one-time  residence 
here,  which  commenced  in  April  1804.  The  Opposition 
Campaign  in  conjunction  with  the  Grenvilles  had  opened 
against  the  Addington  Ministry,  and  Fox  came  to  town 
to  direct  affairs,  his  Arlington  Street  residence  (No.  9) 1 
becoming  the  centre  of  political  activity.  He  retained 
the  house  for  two  years,  although  he  retired  to  the  charms 
of  St  Anne's  Hill  as  often  as  possible.  Rogers  relates  how, 
on  one  occasion,  he  dined  with  Mr  and  Mrs  Fox  here  and 
afterwards  went  with  them  to  see  young  Betty,  "the 
1  A  tablet  indicates  Fox's  residence  here. 


infant  Roscius,"  act  Hamlet,  and  how  Fox  surprised  him 
during  the  performance  by  exclaiming:  "This  is  finer 
than  Garrick."  On  his  vacating  his  seat  in  Parlia- 
ment Fox's  address  to  his  constituents  was  dated  from 
Arlington  Street  on  8th  February  1806,  but  he  evidently 
soon  afterwards  gave  up  the  place,  for  when  his  death 
occurred  in  the  following  September  his  body  was  removed, 
we  are  told,  from  Chiswick  "  to  the  house  recently  occupied 
by  him  in  the  stable-yard,  St  James's." 

Among  other  past  residents  in  Arlington  Street  were 
David  Mallet,  who  was  living  here  from  1746  to  1747,  and 
the  2nd  Earl  of  Chatham ;  while  to  come  to  later  days, 
John  Motley,  who  was  for  a  time  at  No.  17,  and  Prosper 
Merimee,  who  was  staying  in  1860,  at  No.  18. 

It  will  be  seen  that  Horace  Walpole's  boast  of  the 
street's  political  significance  is  well  substantiated ;  its 
fashionable  character  is  equally  prominent,  and  the  out- 
look from  the  windows  of  the  houses  on  the  Park  side 
fully  confirms  what  the  writer  of  the  New  Review  of  the 
Public  Buildings  of  London  says  of  it  in  the  reign  of  George 
II.,  when  he  describes  it  as  "one  of  the  most  beautiful 
situations  in  Europe  for  health,  convenience  and  beauty, 
and  combining  together  the  advantages  of  town  and 
country."  The  "want  of  uniformity"  in  its  houses, 
which  he  notes,  is  to-day  further  enhanced  by  the  tower- 
ing structure  of  the  Ritz  Hotel,  which  dwarfs  the 
adjacent  buildings  even  more  than  did  its  predecessor, 
Walsingham  House. 

In  these  days  of  rebuilding  it  is  probable  that  further 
alterations  will  come,  so  far  as  the  elevations  of  the 
Arlington  Street  houses  are  concerned.  When,  and  if, 
they  do,  one  can  only  hope  that  No.  5,  where  the  great 
Sir  Robert  lived,  and  his  equally  well-remembered  son, 
Horace,  so  often  gazed  from  the  windows  and  noted  the 
passing  fashions,  will  be  spared,  not  only  to  perpetuate 



their  memory,  but  to  recall  what  this  side  of  the  street 
looked  like  in  earlier  Georgian  days. 


A  little  way  down  St  James's  Street  from  Bennet  Street 
is  Park  Place.  It  was  formed  in  1683,  and  in  the 
Act  for  creating  the  parish  of  St  James's  (1  James  II., 
cap.  22)  it  is  spoken  of  as  a  new  street.  A  curious 
fact  about  the  thoroughfare  is  that  its  north  side  is  in 
the  parish  of  St  George's  and  its  south  in  that  of 
St  James's. 

The  earliest  inhabitants  I  can  trace  from  the  Rate 
Books  were  Mr  John  Pulteney,  who  was  paying  £1,  8s. ; 
Lord  Clifford,  who  was  paying  £2,  and  Lord  Brouncker 
(given  as  Lord  Brounkhard),  who  was  rated  at  £2,  10s. 
All  these  were  living  here  in  1683,  so  they  must  have 
taken  houses  directly  they  were  finished. 

In  the  following  year  Lord  Brouncker  (this  time  the 
name  is  spelt  correctly)  is  given,  with  the  addition  of  "or 
tenant,"  in  St  James's  Street,  and  is  rated  at  £1, 10s.  Of 
these  John  Pulteney,  no  doubt  one  of  the  family  so  long 
associated,  as  we  have  seen,  with  St  James's  Street,  was 
in  1707  made  one  of  the  commissioners  of  trade  in  the 
place  of  a  Mr  Pryor.1  Of  Lord  Clifford,  previously  Sir 
Thomas,  at  one  time  Lord  Treasurer  of  the  Household,  the 
reader  will  find  abundant  details  in  the  pages  of  Evelyn 
and  Pepys,  the  former  of  whom  records  his  leanings  to- 
wards Papacy  and  his  unhappy  death  by  his  own  hand. 
He  was  the  ;'  C  "  in  the  notorious  Cabal  ministry  and  a 
person  of  importance  in  the  days  of  the  Merry  Monarch. 
Lord  Brouncker  is  as  well  known  in  a  different  direction, 
for  he  was  first  President  of  the  Royal  Society,  in  which 
connection  he  was  much  in  the  company  of  Evelyn  who 
1  Narcissus  LuttrelTs  Diary. 


may,  or  one  likes  to  think  so,  have  visited  him  in  his  house 
in  Park  Place. 

Another  early  resident  here  was  Lady  Orrery,  and  in 
1685  I  find,  in  addition,  Colonel  Fitzpatrick  and  Lord 
Burlington.  Two  years  later  the  Earl  of  Carberry  is  given 
as  residing  here.1  He  was  also  a  President  of  the  Royal 
Society  during  his  residence  here.  Before  succeeding  to 
the  earldom  he  was  known  as  Lord  Vaughan,  in  which 
capacity  he  was  a  violent  enemy  of  Clarendon  and,  accord- 
ing to  Pepys,  "one  of  the  lewdest  fellows  of  the  age,  worse 
than  Sir  Charles  Sedley." 

In  the  Rate  Books  for  1698  the  following  are  the  names 
of  the  principal  residents  in  Park  Place : — Lady  Tanker- 
ville,  the  Earl  of  Orkney,  the  Duchess  of  Cleveland  and 
the  Marchioness  of  Halifax.  Three  years  earlier  quite  a 
different  set  of  names  appear ;  they  include  Lady  Mary 
Gray,  Lord  William  Poulett,  Colonel  Pizza,  Colonel  John 
Fitzpatrick,  Francis  Thatcher,  Esq.,  and  —  Hophman, 

So  much  later  as  1765  Sir  George  Baker  is  found  writing 
from  Jermyn  Street  to  Edward  Weston  and  saying :  "I 
am  desired  to  ask  you,  on  behalf  of  Lady  Middleton, 
whether  you  will  let  your  house  (in  Park  Place)  on  a  lease 
of  12  years.  Her  Ladyship  cannot  afford  to  buy  it ;  but 
would  be  glad  to  take  it  on  the  terms  mentioned  above." 

Whether  or  not  the  negotiations  were  successful  I  am  un- 
able to  say  ;  certainly  I  have  not  come  across  the  name  of 
Lady  Middleton  as  a  tenant,  so  probably  they  fell  through. 
The  house  seems  to  have  been  sought  after,  as  in  the 
previous  December  (1764)  Lord  Stanhope  writes  from 
St  James's  Street  to  Edward  Weston  in  this  strain  con- 
cerning it:  "Was  my  Brother  in  Town,  I  am  sure  he 
would  desire  me  to  return  you  his  thanks  for  your  CiviLcy 
in  giving  him  the  Preferance  of  your  house  in  Park  Place. 
1  At  that  time  there  were  but  eight  houses  in  Park  Place. 



...  In  the  Time  of  my  ever  to  be  regretted  Friend,  Mr 
Charles  Stanhope,  I  should  certainly  have  had  it  at  any 
price,  if  I  was  so  happy  to  have  a  Family  to  inhabit  it,  but 
it  is  much  too  large  for  a  single  man  like  me  tho'  I  had  it 
for  nothing." 

To  come  to  a  still  later  period  we  find  Lieutenant- 
General  Gage  writing  to  John  Robinson  from  Park  Place 
in  1776,  and  in  1785,  according  to  the  Rate  Books,  Sir 
William  Musgrave  and  Admiral  Pigot  were  living  there. 
Sir  William,  who  is  remembered  as  a  great  print-collector, 
was  residing  at  No.  9,  and  to  a  small  house  three  doors 
off  (No.  12)  Pitt  retired  in  1801,  after  he  resigned  the 
Treasury.  Apparently  he  was  then  very  poorly  off,  for 
Jesse 1  remarks,  apropos  this  residence,  that,  there,  at  any 
time  he  might  awake  to  find  himself  without  a  chair  in  his 
drawing-room  or  a  horse  in  his  stables,  for  at  any  moment 
an  execution  might  be  put  in  the  small  house  he  had  taken 

Another  resident  here  for  a  time,  but  probably  only  in 
lodgings,  was  David  Hume,  who  is  recorded  as  living  here 
in  1769. 2  In  1813  I  find  Lord  Vernon,  Colonel  Gibson  and 
Dr  Paris  among  the  street's  inhabitants.  Lord  Vernon 's 
house  was  the  large  one  at  the  end  of  Park  Place,  which 
at  a  later  date  became  the  property  of  Lord  Redesdale. 
According  to  the  account  of  Dr  Paris,  in  The  Gold-Headed 
Cane,  he  finally  settled  in  London  in  1817,  which  indicates 
that  he  had  been  there  at  least  temporarily  before  then, 
and  it  was  in  Park  Place  that  at  this  time  he  lived.  He 
was  a  distinguished  doctor  in  town  for  a  number  of  years, 
and  succeeded  Halford  in  the  Chair  of  the  Royal  College 
of  Physicians.  It  was  at  a  house  in  Park  Place,  whither 
she  had  retired,  that  Mrs  Elizabeth  Neale,  the  "Betty  " 
of  St  James's  Street,  about  whom  I  have  more  to  say  in 

1  Memoirs  of  George  HI. 

2  The  famous  Coke  of  Norfolk  was  once  residing  at  No.  14. 



another  chapter,  died  on  30th  August  1797,  aged  sixty- 
seven,  just  fourteen  years  after  she  had  given  up  her 
active  career  as  flower-woman  and  gossip  in  the  larger 

A  far  less  worthy  person  is  connected  with  Park  Place 
in  the  person  of  the  notorious  "  Mother  Needham,"  whom 
Hogarth  has  pilloried  in  Plate  1  of  The  Harlot's  Progress, 
and  Pope  in  The  Dunciad.  Two  entries  from  contempor- 
ary news-sheets  sufficiently  indicate  the  "  business  "  of 
this  most  undesirable  resident. 

In  Fog's  Weekly  Journal  for  1st  May  1731  we  read: 
"The  noted  Mother  Needham,  convicted  (April 20th,  1731) 
for  keeping  a  disorderly  house  in  Park  Place,  St  James's, 
was  fined  Is.,  to  stand  twice  in  the  Pillory — viz.  once  in 
St  James's  Street  over  against  the  End  of  Park  Place, 
and  once  in  the  New  Palace  Yard,  Westminster,  and  to 
find  sureties  for  her  Good  Behaviour  for  three  years." 

The  other  entry  carries  on  the  information  a  step.  It 
is  from  The  Grub  Street  Journal,  and  reads  thus : 
"Yesterday  (May  6th,  1731)  the  noted  Mother  Needham 
stood  in  the  Pillory  in  Park  Place,1  near  St  James's  Street, 
and  was  roughly  handled  by  the  populace.  She  was  so 
very  ill  that  she  lay  along  on  her  face,  and  so  evaded  the 
law  which  requires  that  her  face  should  be  exposed." 
Before  she  could  undergo  the  second  part  of  her  sentence 
she  died.  The  note  to  Pope's  two  lines  about  her  in  The 
Dunciad  reads  thus : 

"  She  was  a  matron  of  great  fame,  and  very  religious 
in  her  way  ;  whose  constant  prayer  it  was,  that  she  might 
get  enough  by  her  profession  to  leave  it  off  in  time,  and 
make  her  peace  with  God.  This,  however,  was  not 
granted  to  her,  as  she  died  from  the  effects  of  her  exposure 
in  the  pillory." 

1  This  shows  us  where  the  Pillory  stood  in  St  James's  Street. 



As  a  set-off  to  such  a  resident  it  is  interesting  to  record 
that  in  a  dwelling  near  Vernon  House,1  the  Society  for  the 
Propagation  of  the  Gospel  in  Foreign  Parts  had  its  head- 
quarters, having  removed  from  No.  79  Pall  Mall  about  the 
year  1870.  Four  years  later  the  Road  Club  was  estab- 
lished at  No.  4,  so  that  the  street  may  be  said  to  have  been, 
in  the  past,  decidedly  eclectic. 

Three  other  clubs  are  connected  with  Park  Place.  Of 
these  Pratts'  was  founded  about  1841  and  occupies 
premises  at  No.  14.  It  is  one  of  those  clubs  that  delight 
in  preserving  the  old  features  which  obtained  at  the  period 
of  their  inception,  and  in  its  arrangement,  furniture  and 
decoration  carries  out  this  principle  admirably.  The 
Primrose,  occupying  Nos.  4  and  5  Park  Place,  is,  as  its 
name  suggests,  of  a  political  origin,  although  there  is 
rather  a  social  than  a  party  air  about  it  now.  It  was 
formed  in  1885,  the  late  Duke  of  Beaufort  largely  interest- 
ing himself  in  its  success.  The  Pioneer,  a  ladies'  club  at 
No.  9,  was  inaugurated  in  1892,  and  certainly  I  am  not 
the  one  to  draw  aside  the  veil  that  hides  its  mysteries. 
The  fact  is  I  can't,  as  I  know  nothing  about  it ;  beyond 
assuming  that  by  its  name  it  indicates  those  progressive 
theories  which  obtained  among  a  certain  section  of  the 
fairer  sex,  before  more  stern  realities  threw  them  into  the 


Passing  Stable  Yard  2  (not  to  be  confounded  with  the 
better-known  place  of  that  name  within  the  precincts  of 
the  Palace — where  C.  J.  Fox  once  lived,  at  Godolphin 

1  The  residence  of  the  Dowager  Lady  Hillingdon. 

8  In  1685  it  consisted  of  small  tenements,  the  occupiers  of  which 
paid  from  ten  shillings  down  to  two  shillings  in  rates.  In  1695 
there  were  eight  houses  rated  in  it. 



House),  known  also  as  Blue  Boar  Yard,1  under  which 
title  it  appears  in  Rhodes'  plan  of  1770,  and  which  it  still 
bears,  we  come  to  what  is  in  many  respects  the  most 
interesting  of  the  lesser  streets  which  branch  from  the 
main  thoroughfare.  It  appears  to  have  been  built  later 
than  most  of  them,  the  Rate  Books  indicating  its  forma- 
tion about  1694.  The  number  of  its  interesting,  often 
famous,  inhabitants,  and  particularly  the  constellation  of 
wit  and  power  which  gathered  round  the  board  or  admired 
the  works  of  art,  of  Samuel  Rogers,  combine  in  giving  St 
James's  Place  an  almost  unique  character.  Indeed,  with 
regard  to  the  poet  and  his  house,  quite  a  little  literature 
has  grown  up,  and  therefore  when  I  come  to  speak  of  his 
residence,  in  this  chapter,  I  shall  simply  state  the  fact, 
leaving  for  that  part  of  the  book  in  which  I  deal  more 
particularly  with  the  famous  men  and  women  of  the  past 
the  record  of  the  house  and  its  contents  and  the  notice  of 
its  benevolent  but  bitter-tongued  owner. 

Among  the  earliest  residents  in  St  James's  Place  were 
Sidney,  1st  Earl  Godolphin,  and  his  brother,  Charles 
Godolphin,  who  must  have  been  two  of  the  first  residents. 
In  1695  I  find,  by  the  Rate  Books,  that  the  following  were 
also  here : — Colonel  Venner,  the  Earl  of  Inchequin,  the  Earl 
of  Nottingham,  George  Pitt,  Madame  Hennage  (Heneage), 
Colonel  Farrington,  the  Hon.  John  Smith,  Sir  Robert  Rich, 
Sir  Robert  Terrell,  Captain  South  and  —  Molesworth,  Esq. 
(spelt  Moldsworth).  Three  years  later  Robert  Molesworth, 
who  afterwards  became  1st  Viscount  Molesworth,  addresses 
a  letter  to  his  wife  "  at  her  house  in  St  James's  Place." 

Another  early  resident  was  Thomas  Coke,  to  whom 
Lieutenant  R.  Pope  writes  "at  his  house  in  (3)  St  James's 
Place,"  on  26th  May  1696.  With  regard  to  this  residence 
we  have  some  interesting  details  in  the  Cowper  MSS.  It 

1  Stanford's  large  map  of  1868  gives  it  as  Blue  Bell  Yard,  and  it 
is  so  called  to-day. 



would  appear  that  Coke  was  making  some  additions  to  his 
property  which  did  not  commend  themselves  to  his  neigh- 
bours. The  following  letters  from  his  clerk  of  the  works, 
Edward  Goudge,  and  Luke  Barrow,  apparently  a  care- 
taker, not  only  illustrate  the  difficulties  Mr  Coke  had  to 
contend  with,  but  also  incidentally  indicate  the  people 
who  were  then  living  in  St  James's  Place.  Thomas  Coke 
was,  of  course,  the  famous  "  Coke  of  Norfolk,"  afterwards 
1st  Earl  of  Leicester,  whom  we  have  found  staying  in 
Park  Place.  The  letters  tell  their  own  tale,  so  I  give  them 
as  they  appear  in  Earl  Cowper's  MSS.,  issued  by  the 
Historical  Manuscripts'  Commission : 

1698,  June  28.    Beaufort  buildings.  —  EDWARD  GOUDGE 

to  THOMAS  COKE  at  Melbourne 

On  Saturday  the  carpenters  having  put  up  good  part  of 
the  frame  of  your  building  [in  St  James's  Place]  some  of 
the  neighbourhood  seemed  to  be  much  offended  at  it,  and 
yesterday  Mr  Stroud  the  bricklayer  came  to  me  from  them 
to  desire  me  to  desist,  otherwise  they  would  run  up  a  wall 
in  the  next  garden  to  hinder  your  prospect.  I  told  him 
you  build  out  of  necessity,  not  curiosity :  and  that  we 
should  have  ten  foot  in  our  own  ground  to  light  us,  not- 
withstanding his  blind.  However  I  condescended  to  the 
taking  the  carpenters  from  their  work  till  I  heard  from 
you.  In  the  meantime  I  will  take  as  good  advice  as  I  can 
about  it,  but  I  cannot  see  what  injury  you  can  do  your 
neighbours  by  your  building,  nor  can  I  believe  any  man 
will  be  so  mad  as  to  lay  out  so  much  money  as  to  build  a 
wall  before  you  to  so  little  purpose. 

1698,  July  9.    London. — JOHN  COKE  to  THOMAS  COKE  at 

the  EARL  OF  CHESTERFIELD'S  at  Breiby 
Mr  Nicholas  Harding  informed  me  yesterday  that  your 
neighbours  in  St  James's  Place  complain  of  those  buildings 



which  you  are  a  going  to  make  there.  One  Mrs  Stroud  is 
the  most  concerned  :  she  says  that  the  apartment  which 
you  are  a  going  to  make  up  will  command  her  house  and 
garden  :  she  threatens  that  if  you  go  on  as  you  design,  she 
will  run  up  a  wall  25  or  30  foot  high,  which  will  quite  spoil 
that  little  prospect,  which  you  have,  and  very  much  darken 
your  rooms.  ...  Mr  Harding  told  me  he  had  desired 
Mrs  Stroud  not  to  do  anything  in  this  matter  till  she 
had  made  you  acquainted  how  matters  stand.  Pray  my 
humble  service  to  Lady  Mary  and  the  rest  of  my  friends 
and  relations  in  Derbyshire. 

1698,  July  19.  Beauford  Buildings. — EDWARD  GOUDGE 
to  THOMAS  COKE,  at  Breiby  Manor,  by  Burton  bagg 
I  find  the  Lord  Godolphin,  Sir  Robert  Terrill,  and 
Mr  Charles  Godolphin  are  your  neighbours.  At  first  Mr 
Stroud  told  me  that  they  were  the  only  persons  disturbed, 
but  since  I  hear  nothing  from  anybody  but  Mr  Charles 
Godolphin,  I  understand  from  the  people  I  put  into  the 
house  that  all  this  disturbance  is  occasioned  by  his  lady, 
who  it  seems  cannot  be  satisfied  till  she  sees  your  building 
down.  Their  builder  came  to  tell  me  they  would  pull 
down  our  building  on  Monday.  On  Sunday  I  went  and 
laughed  at  him  for  his  news.  He  told  me  seriously  that 
he  had  seen  their  lease,  and  they  had  so  many  foot  of 
ground  as  reached  the  inside  of  our  wall.  .  .  .  To  prevent 
a  law  suit  I  have  contented  myself  with  the  loss  of  about 
five  inches,  and  taken  the  timber  off  the  wall? and  set  it 
wholly  on  our  own  ground,  for  10s.  charge  or  less.  .  .  .  To 
do  as  much  mischief  as  they  can  another  way,  here  hath 
been  one  from  your  backside  neighbour  to  let  us  know 
that  the  wall  was  wholly  theirs.  ...  If  you  have  not  your 
lease,  let  me  know  where  I  can  see  it  here  in  town,  and 
who  your  lawyer  is,  that  I  may  advise  with  him.  My 
opinion  is  that  they  cannot  hurt  us,  but  that  all  this  bustle 
G  97 


is  to  oblige  the  peevish  proud  temper  of  a  woman.  Mr 
Stroud  told  me  that  there  was  a  contract  between  the 
builders  that  they  should  not  make  any  addition  above  so 
many  foot  high.  I  shall  keep  the  men  at  work,  and  desire 
a  line  or  two. 

1698,  July  23.  Beauford  Buildings. — EDWARD  GOUDGE 
to  THOMAS  COKE,  at  Bretby  Manor,  by  Burton  bagg 
I  have  had  two  meetings  lately  with  an  attorney  who 
acts  for  the  ground  landlord  on  the  back  side  of  our  build- 
ing, who  says  that  the  wall  that  our  building  stands  upon 
next  Madame  LuttrelPs  ground  is  theirs,  and  not  our  own 
as  Mr  Stroud,  our  ground  landlord,  told  me  it  was.  I, 
therefore,  desire  that  somebody  belonging  to  the  law  may 
be  judges  of  their  writings,  which  their  attorney  offers  to 
show  at  any  time.  I  answered  that  if  they  proved  the 
wall  to  be  theirs,  Mr  Coke  would  take  the  building  off 
the  wall  and  set  it  further  into  his  own  ground,  and  that 
whosoever  employed  him  would  miss  of  their  aim  for  our 
building  would  go  forward.  I  do  not  think  that  the  re- 
moving the  whole  frame  of  our  building  will  cost  more 
than  forty  shillings.  I  am  now  well  assured  Mr  Charles 
Godolphin's  lady  is  the  cause  of  all  this  trouble. 

1698,  August  6.  Beauford  Buildings  in  the  Strand. — 
EDWARD  GOUDGE  to  THOMAS  COKE,  at  Bretby  Manor, 
by  Burton  bagg 

.  .  .  The  attorney,  who  is  employed  by  the  ground 
landlord  of  the  next  ground,  and  I  have  had  several  meet- 
ings and  I  hope  on  Monday  shall  make  a  final  determina- 
tion of  the  matter.  But  the  ground  landlord,  Mr  Waller, 
lives  in  Buckinghamshire,  who  I  understand  is  a  very  hot 
man  ;  but  I  find  the  attorney  quite  the  contrary  ;  other- 
wise you  would  infallibly  have  entered  into  a  law  suit,  or  I 
must  have  made  a  hasty  submission.  .  .  . 


1698,  August  17.    Rochester. — EDWARD  GOUDGE  to 
THOMAS  COKE,  at  Bretby 

...  I  left  the  men  once  again  in  good  order,  with  a 
strict  charge  to  go  on  with  all  speed  imaginable,  and  after 
a  little  time  I  shall  be  able  to  give  a  better  guess  what  time 
we  shall  finish.  .  .  .  Madam  Godolphin  is  still  as  trouble- 
some as  she  can,  saying  she  hath  bought  Mr  Waller's 
ground  as  I  am  informed.  But  I  took  a  note  under  the 
attorney's  hand  to  acquit  you  from  any  further  trouble, 
after  the  removing  the  encroachment,  which  is  done,  and 
your  building  stands  wholly  within  the  walls. 

1698,  August  24.    London. — LUKE  BARROW  to  THOMAS 

COKE  at  Bretby 

...  I  am  in  your  house  at  this  time  in  3  James  Place, 
being  put  in  by  Mr  Goudge.  Your  building  doth  go  on 
now  though  it  hath  been  three  times  hindred  and  caused  to 
be  altered,  by  some  unworthy  and  envious  persons,  con- 
cerning which  I  suppose  there  hath  been  more  malice  than 
matter  in  it,  their  aim  and  end  that  you  might  have  no 
building  at  all  there.  And  especially  one  family  near 
neighbours,  particularly  the  gentlewoman,  of  the  house, 
with  her  husband,  Mr  Godolphin,  who  lately,  when  one  of 
the  workmen  was  nailing  some  boards  on  that  end  of  the 
building  next  to  their  garden,  stood  with  a  pistol  ready 
cocked,  and  said  he  would  shoot  any  man  that  should  dare 
to  put  out  his  head  or  his  hand  over  the  garden  to  drive  a 
nail  there.  I  never  perceived  so  much  envy  appear  in  my 
life  as  hath  been  ever  since  it  began.  .  .  . 

1698,  August  29.    Rochester. — EDWARD  GOUDGE  to 

THOMAS  COKE  at  Bretby  Manor 

Since  there  were  no  thoughts  of  making  a  scaffold  on 
Mr  Godolphin 's  ground  to  plaister  that  end,  I  ordered  it 



to  be  weather  boarded  ;  which  when  the  carpenters  were 
going  about  to  do  by  standing  within  our  own  building 
and  putting  their  heads  between  the  quarters  to  nail  the 
boards,  Mr  Godolphin  came  out  with  a  pistol  and  swore  he 
would  shoot  that  man  through  the  head  that  should  offer 
but  to  swing  his  hand  over  his  ground  to  drive  a  nail, 
whereupon  the  carpenters  being  scared  from  their  work, 
I  ordered  it  to  be  bricked  up  between  the  quarters,  which 
is  done ;  and  that  side  boarded  next  Madam  LuttrelFs 
garden,  so  that  now  I  hope  all  the  disturbance  is  over. 
This  surly  troublesome  neighbour  of  yours  hath  so  hindered 
us  that  it  will  be  too  hard  a  task  for  us  to  get  the  house 
quite  finished  by  the  27th  of  September.  .  .  . 

1698,  September  3.    St  James's  Place. — LUKE  BARROW 


Mr  Godolphin  is  now  erecting  his  monument  of  malice ; 
and  he  hath  prevailed  with  our  neighbour  on  the  left  hand 
to  build  along  that  wall,  and  the  end  of  his  fabric  is 
fastened  into  his  house :  the  manner  of  their  building  is 
long  poles,  and  they  are  preparing  to  board  it.  The  gentle- 
woman is  very  jocund,  and  full  of  laughter,  and  they  all 
seem  to  be  much  pleased  with  what  they  are  doing.  But 
I  told  them  all  aloud,  I  believed  they  would  have  little 
cause  to  rejoice  in  the  end.  .  .  . 

What  the  result  of  this  dispute  was  does  not  appear ; 
at  least  there  is  no  further  correspondence  concerning 
it,  and  as  by  the  following  letter  the  faithful  Goudge  is 
shown  busying  himself  about  the  internal  decorations 
and  furnishing  of  Mr  Coke's  house,  it  is  probable  that 
an  amicable  settlement  was  arrived  at. 



1698,  September  22.  London. — EDWARD  GOUDGE  to 
Bretby  Manor,  Burton  Bagg 

...  I  have  taken  care  that  your  household  necessaries 
be  as  ready  for  you  as  your  building,  viz.  :  jack,  jackwheel, 
spits,  racks,  boiler,  stoves,  cistern,  etc.  I  do  not  doubt 
but  some  other  things  will  come  into  my  mind,  supposing 
you  are  not  provided  with  any  thing  for  this  house  but 
hangings,  beds,  pictures,  chaiis,  etc.  I  desire  you  would 
be  pleased  to  answer  these  following  queries,  viz. : — 

1.  How  must  the  Japan  pictures  be  disposed  of? 

2.  Shall  there  be  a  glass  pier  in  the  lower  room  in  the 

new  building,  as  it  is  ordered  above  in  the  middle 
storey  ? 

3.  Would  you  have  sash  doors  in  the  closet  of  that 

storey  for  a  library? 

4.  Would  you    have   any  prints    pasted    before   you 


5.  Would  you  have  glass   in  the  piers  of  the  dining 

room,  as   also   over   the   marble    chimney    piece 

there  ? 

It  is  a  very  dear  ornament,  therefore  I  do  not  advise  it, 
except  it  be  mighty  agreeable  to  yours,  and  my  Lady's 

In  1710  Addison  was  living  in  St  James's  Place,  prob- 
ably in  lodgings,  and  two  letters  of  his  to  Joseph  Keally 
are  dated  from  here  on  23rd  and  27th  April  of  that  year.1 
It  appears  that  at  this  time  Eustace  Budgell,  his  relation 
and  secretary,  was  residing  with  him.  According  to 
Spence,  Addison  used  to  have  Davenant,  Steele,  Carey,  and 
Captain  Brett  to  breakfast  with  him  in  St  James's  Place, 
and  that  besides  Budgell,  Philips  used  to  stay  there. 
1  They  are  given  in  Berkeley's  Literary  Relics,  pp.  384-388 



Another  resident  about  the  same  time  was  Thomas 
Parnell,  the  poet,  who  was  also,  it  will  be  recalled,  Arch- 
deacon of  Clogher  in  1706,  which  gives  point  to  the  remark 
of  Jervas  to  Pope  that  he  had  "not  yet  seen  the  dear 
Archdeacon,  who  is  at  his  lodgings  in  St  James's  Place." 
Other  contemporary  inhabitants  were  Admiral  Churchill, 
brother  of  the  great  Marlborough,  who  died  in  1710; 
Secretary  Craggs,  William  Cleland,  another  of  Pope's 
friends — who  in  1739  writes  to  Dr  Birch,  giving  him  the 
following  directions  to  find  his  lodgings: — "Come  as  far 
up  St  James's  Place,  as  you  can,  still  keeping  on  the  right 
side,  turn  up  at  the  end  which  lands  you  at  a  little  court  of 
which  the  middle  door  is  that  of  my  house  " — and  White 
Kennett,  Bishop  of  Peterborough  and  author  of  Kennett's 
Register,  who  is  stated,  in  London  Past  and  Present,  to 
have  died  in  a  house  here  on  19th  December  1728. 

But  one  more  interesting  than  the  poet's  friend  or  the 
learned  bishop  once  resided  in  St  James's  Place,  notably 
the  beautiful  Molly  Lepel,  who  became  Lady  Hervey,  and 
whose  name  is  so  closely  associated  with  the  Court  and 
fashionable  life  of  George  II. 's  day.  The  history  of  her 
house  here  is  told  in  her  Letters.1  She  built  it  herself  from 
designs  by  Flitcroft,  during  1747-1748.  Writing  on  10th 
December  of  the  former  year,  she  says  :  "I  have  a  dozen 
plans,  a  compass,  rules,  &c.,  lying  before  me,  and  expect 
Mr  Flitcroft  every  instant,"  which  indicates  the  approxi- 
mate commencement  of  the  work.  On  2nd  April  1748 
we  find  her  in  the  midst  of  it.  "I  must  now  quit  you  for 
Mr  Flitcroft,  angles,  feet,  greystock  bricks,  cornice,  fascias, 
copeings  and  what  not,  only  torments  me  at  present  but 
I  fear  will  undo  me  in  the  end.  My  old  house  is  now  a 
heap  of  ruins  and  dust ;  but  I  hope  out  of  its  ashes  there 
will  soon  arise  a  Phoenix  house,  where  you  will  often  eat 
as  plain  a  dinner,  see  as  fine  a  prospect,  and  as  beautiful 
1  Published  in  1821,  and  edited  by  J.  W.  Croker. 


a  verdure  as  at  Nursling.  I  build  but  part  of  my  house  at 
present;  time,  economy,  or  my  heir  must  finish  it."  It 
will  thus  be  seen  that  Lady  Hervey's  house  was  erected 
on  the  site  of  a  residence  she  already  owned  here.  A  year 
later,  she  speaks  of  having  paid  dear  to  make  her  new 
dwelling  look  as  like  the  country  as  she  can ;  but  surgit 
amari  aliquid,  "I  have  been  too  much  used  to  grass  and 
green  trees  to  bear  the  changing  them  for  brick  walls  and 
dust,"  she  moans.  At  the  end  of  another  year  she  writes 
to  a  friend  thus  :  "  Pray  go  and  visit  my  house,  and  then 
tell  me  sincerely  what  you  think  of  it.  I  must  inform 
you  first  that  it  is  but  two  parts  in  three  of  it  that  is 
carried  up  ;  the  rest  remains  to  be  done  about  two  years 
and  a  half  hence ;  so  that  the  great  stairs,  an  ante- 
chamber to  my  great  room,  and  a  servant's  room  to  the 
bedchamber,  are  all  as  yet  unbuilt :  make  these  allow- 
ances, and  then  tell  me  if  you  like  it.  If  you  say,  as  you 
did  once  before,  that  you  wish  I  had  made  a  bow  window, 
consider  what  would  have  been  the  consequence  of  it ; 
instead  of  those  windows  which  now  afford  me  as  fine  a 
view  as  possible,  I  should  have  had  but  one  window  that 
would  have  looked  towards  Chelsea  and  the  country : 
from  one  of  the  oblique  windows  I  should  have  looked 
into  Sir  John  Cope's  room,  and  have  afforded  him  a  view 
of  mine :  from  the  other  I  should  have  seen  the  Duke  of 
Devonshire's  house,  when  the  dust  of  Piccadilly  would 
have  permitted  it." 

After  the  death  of  Lady  Hervey  (2nd  September  1768) 1 
Lord  Carlisle  took  her  house.  He  writes  to  his  friend 
Selwyn,  on  the  13th  October  of  that  year  :  "By  this  time 
you  will  be  empowered  to  take  Lady  Hervey's  house  for 
me,  which  I  think  is  too  good  to  lose  for  a  little  more 

1  A  year  earlier,  Lady  Sarah  Bunbury  tells  Selwyn  that  the 
Princess  Poniatowska  was  then  residing  -'  next  to  Lord  Spencer's  '* 
in  St  James's  Place. 



money  "  ;  and  in  another  letter,  written  six  days  later,  he 
adds :  "I  agree  with  you  it  is  very  extravagant  to  gives 
two  hundred  a  year  to  see  a  cow  under  my  windows,  but 
still  I  am  very  happy  to  have  the  house,  and  hope  you  will 
like  the  present  owner  as  well  as  you  did  the  last  one."  * 
Subsequent  letters  indicate  that  about  1775  Lord  Carlisle 
thought  of  giving  up  the  house,  as  his  losses  at  cards  made 
it  necessary  for  him  to  curtail  his  expenses,  but  he  was 
still  there  in  1780. 

It  seems  that  the  Duke  of  Bedford  once  contemplated 
purchasing  the  house,  for  Selwyn,  writing  to  Lady  Carlisle 
in  1786,  says  that  he  (the  Duke)  "will  buy  a  house  near 
Brooks 's,  that  he  may  not  have  so  far  to  go  from  thence 
at  nights,  as  to  Bloomsbury  Square,  and  would  have  given 
ten  thousand  pounds  for  that  in  St  James's  Place  in  which 
you  lived." 

Subsequently  Lady  Hervey's  house,  "that  charming 
house — the  Hotel  de  Miladi,"  as  Lord  March  called  it,  was 
occupied  by  the  Earl  of  Moira,  formerly  Lord  Rawdon,2 
the  Regent's  friend;  and  at  a  later  date  still  it  was 
divided  into  two  residences. 

At  the  time  of  Lady  Hervey's  occupation  Sir  John  Cope, 
as  we  gather  from  one  of  the  letters  just  quoted,  was  her 
next-door  neighbour,  and  in  1756  John  Walker  was  stay- 
ing here  "at  Mrs  Murray's  —  in  very  elegant  lodgings." 
In  1783  I  find  Lord  Lucan  writing  to  Mr  Pery  from  here 
and  mentioning  that  "at  this  moment  (19th  April)  there 
are  about  2000  sailors  parading  in  St  James's  Street," 
and  that  "their  grievances  are  ill-founded  and  therefore 
difficult  to  settle." 

Two  years  later  the  Rate  Books  prove  that  the  fashion- 
able character  of  St  James's  Place  was  well  maintained. 
Living  there  at  that  time  were  Lady  Amelia  Hervey,  Lady 

1  Selwyn  and  his  Contemporaries,  by  Jesse,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  332-336. 

2  He  writes  to  William  Knox  from  here,  in  1790. 



Euphemia  Stuart,  Thomas  Townshend,1  rented  at  £30; 
Lord  Spencer,  paying  £500  rental;  Mr  Rigby,2  paying 
£150 ;  the  Earl  of  Northington,  paying  £180 ;  Lord  Vere, 
paying  £165 ;  the  Earl  of  Huntingdon,  Lady  Betty  Fitz- 
william,  Sir  Robert  Gunning  and,  last  but  not  least,  Mrs 
Delany,  paying  £80  rent. 

We  first  find  Mrs  Delany  here  in  1749,  in  which  year  she 
writes  to  Mrs  Dewes,  from  Bulstrode,  that  her  house  is  in 
St  James's  Place,  the  landlady's  name  Lynch.  The  first 
letter  written  by  her  from  her  new  residence  is  also  ad- 
dressed to  Mrs  Dewes  on  16th  January  1750  ;  but  by  the 
following  May  she  is  back  at  Delville.  I  think,  therefore, 
that  this  sojourn  was  a  temporary  one,  probably  with  a 
view  to  see  how  she  liked  St  James's  Place  as  a  permanent 
residence,  and  that  it  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  house 
she  subsequently  took  there.  Two  years  later  Mrs  Delany 
tells  her  friends  that  she  shall  have  a  house  secured  for  her 
near  St  James's  Chapel  and  the  Park,  and  this  she  finally 
did,  in  Suffolk  Street  apparently,  at  a  higher  rent  than  she 
had  paid  for  the  St  James's  Place  lodging.3 

When  exactly  she  entered  into  possession  of  the  house 
in  St  James's  Place  which  was  to  be  her  London  residence 
for  so  many  years  is  not  quite  clear ;  she  seems  to  have 
been  in  one  in  Thatched  House  Court  till  June  1771,  in 

1  He  was  afterwards  Lord  Sydney,  and  is  one  of  those  mentioned 
in  Goldsmith's  Retaliation. 

2  Rigby  was  writing  letters  from  here  two  years  earlier.     In  a 
list  of  persons  paying  tax  on  men-servants  for  1780,  I  find  General 
de  Buede,  Hon.  Ann  Boscawen,  the  Hon.  Mrs  Beauclerk,  Colonel 
Peter,  and  the  Earl  of  Carlisle  given  as  living  in  St  James's  Place ; 
while  in  the  previous  year  (23rd  December),  Walpole,  writing  to 
Lady    Ossory,    says    (speaking   of    Lord    Bristol's   will),    "  Lord 
Bristol  has  given  his  mother's  (Lady  Hervey's)  house  in  St  James's 
Place  to  his  brother.  Col.  Hervey." 

*  On  1 4th  October  1752  she  tells  Mrs  De\res  that  "  cousin  Foley 
has  another  call  to  London,  and  the  Maid  of  Honour  has  taken  a 
house  for  them  in  St  James's  Place.'5 



which  month  she  writes  to  Lady  Andover  thus :  "I 
suppose  your  ladyship  cannot  be  ignorant  of  so  important 
a  transaction  as  the  present  possessor  of  the  'little 
Thatch '  having  purchased  some  old  walls  in  St  James's 
Place,  in  order  to  remove  thither  by  the  end  of  July. "  So 
that  this  approximately  marks  the  date  of  the  change. 
She  was  busy  with  her  workmen  during  June,  as  she  tells 
Lady  Andover  in  a  subsequent  letter  ;  but  the  first  letter 
from  the  new  house  is  dated  7th  December  1771,  so  that 
probably  the  alterations  took  longer  than  had  been  an- 
ticipated. In  the  following  January  Mrs  Delany  felt  two 
earthquake-like  shocks,  and  her  maid,  rushing  into  her 
room,  informed  her  that  the  house  was  coming  down. 
However,  it  was  not  so  bad  as  that,  and  proved  to  be  the 
effects  of  an  explosion  of  some  powder-mills  at  Hounslow.1 
The  Hotel  Delany,  as  Mrs  Boscawen  called  it,  continued 
to  be  Mrs  Delany 's  winter  headquarters  till  her  death. 
Here  visited  from  tune  to  tune  the  blue-stocking  Mrs 
Montagu  and  the  learned  Mrs  Chapone,  Lady  Bute,  the 
clever  daughter  of  Lady  Mary  Wortley  Montagu,  and 
Mrs  Carter,  the  translator  of  Epictetus,  Mrs  Boscawen 
and  Hannah  More,  the  Duchess  of  Portland  and  Fanny 
Burney  (who  has  left  a  famous  record  of  her  first  call  on 
dear  Mrs  Delany).  Soame  Jenyns  came  here,  and  Horace 
Walpole's  conversation  is  said  never  to  have  been  more 
pleasing  or  amusing  than  at  his  old  friend's  tea-table,  and 
here  Lord  North  kept  awake  and  was  witty  and  mirthful. 
Here,  too,  Mrs  Delany,  at  the  request  of  Dr  Burney, 
dictated  her  recollections  of  Anastasia  Robinson,  as  well 
.as  the  strange  story  of  the  marriage  of  that  beautiful 
singer  with  the  eccentric  Earl  of  Peterborough. 

During  the  Gordon  Riots  there  seems  to  have  been  no 

little  apprehension  felt  that  the  neighbourhood   of  St 

James's  would  share  the  fate  of  Newgate  and  Bloomsbury 

1  5th  January  1772. 

1 06 


Square,  and  Mrs  Delany,  writing  to  Mrs  Port  of  Ham,  on 
8th  June  1780,  tells  how  the  Duchess  of  Portland,  leaving 
London  for  Bulstrode,  insisted  on  her  accompanying  the 
party,  "as  some  houses  in  St  James's  Place  and  Street 
were  threatened."  By  the  23rd  of  the  month,  however, 
Mrs  Delany  was  back  in  town,  and  writes  from  St  James's 
Place,  where,  she  says :  "I  am  come  to  see  how  the  new 
painting  of  my  drawing-room  comes  on." 

The  last  mention  of  the  house  is  on  19th  August  1785 
before  Mrs  Delany  went  to  the  cottage  prepared  for  her  by 
George  III.  and  Queen  Charlotte  at  Windsor  in  the  follow- 
ing September.  The  St  James's  Place  house  was,  how- 
ever, retained  and  Mrs  Delany  went  up  to  it  occasionally 
or  lent  it  (as  she  did  to  Mrs  Granville  in  1787)  to  friends. 
In  the  winter  of  this  year  she  was  there,  and  letters  dated 
by  her  on  3rd  February  and  22nd  March  1788  from  here 
are  extant.  On  15th  April  she  breathed  her  last  here.1 
By  her  will  she  ordered  the  repayment  of  £400  which  her 
friend  the  Duchess  of  Portland  had  advanced  to  her  for 
the  purchase  of  the  house  in  St  James's  Place.  Appar- 
ently she  left  the  residence  to  her  niece,  Miss  Port  of  Ham, 
as  among  the  Delany  correspondence  is  a  letter  from  an 
old  friend,  Mrs  Weddell,  endeavouring  to  persuade  Miss 
Port  to  leave  the  St  James's  Street  house  and  to  go  and 
reside  with  her  in  Stratton  Street. 

Fanny  Burney  has  left  us  a  long  and  minute  description 
of  Mrs  Delany's  London  house.  It  is  dated  19th  January 
1783  and  will  be  found  in  the  Diary.  Suffice  it  here  to 
say  that  the  writer  paid  her  visit  in  company  with  Mrs 
Chapone ;  that  she  found  Mrs  Delany  alone  in  her  drawing- 
room,  "  which  is  entirely  hung  round  with  pictures  of  her 
own  painting  and  ornaments  of  her  own  designing  " ;  that 
Mrs  Delany  showed  her  the  new  method  she  had  invented 
of  cutting  out  designs  in  coloured  paper  so  as  to  imitate 
1  See  Letters  oj  Mrs  Delany,  published  in  1820. 


flowers  in  a  most  life-like  manner,  as  well  as  some  portraits 
(one  of  "Sacharissa"  and  one  of  Madame  de  Sevigne); 
which  seem  to  have  struck  the  authoress  of  Evelina  par- 
ticularly. The  Duchess  of  Portland  came  in  later  and 
Fanny  Burney  sets  down,  with  something  of  the  precision 
and  ingenuousness  of  Pepys,  the  flattering  things  which  the 
great  ladies  said  to  her  about  her  books  and  her  genius. 

At  the  time  when  Mrs  Delany  was  occupying  her  house 
we  find  Charles  James  Fox  writing  (1783)  from  St  James's 
Place,  where  he  had  a  temporary  lodging.  About  the 
same  period  it  appears  that  Warren  Hastings  was, 
curiously  enough,  close  by  his  future  antagonist,  having 
come  to  lodge  in  the  street  on  his  arrival  in  England  to 
meet  the  charges  subsequently  brought  against  him  at  his 
impeachment.  In  The  Rolliad  there  is  the  following  refer- 
ence to  the  great  proconsul's  sojourn  in  St  James's  Place l : 

"  Or  in  thy  chosen  Place,  St  James, 
Be  carolled  loud  amid  th 'applauding  Imhoffs." 

In  a  note  to  this  passage  we  read  :  "He  did  not  know 
Mr  Hastings's  house  to  be  in  St  James's  Place ;  he  did  not 
know  Mrs  Hastings  to  have  two  sons  by  Mjiiheer  Imhoff , 
her  former  husband,  still  living ;  and,  what  is  more  shameful 
than  all,  in  a  critical  assessor,  he  had  never  heard  of  the 
poetical  figure  by  which  I  elegantly  say  the  Place,  St 
James,  instead  of  St  James's  Place." 

In  1795  William  Windham,  writing  to  Lord  Grenville, 
speaks  of  a  M.  de  Tuisaye, ' '  who  will  be  to  be  heard  of  at  any 
time  at  Mr  Saladin's  at  No.  —  St  James's  Place  " ;  and  in 
the  same  year  Lord  St  Helens  writes  also  to  Lord  Grenville 
from  here.  In  the  following  year  the  Rate  Books  reveal 
the  presence  of  the  following  residents : — Lady  Amelia 

1  Arthur,  proprietor  of  White's  Chocolate  House,  died  at  his 
house  in  St  James's  Place,  in  June  1761. 



Hervey,  General  Mordaimt,  Earl  Stopford  (?),  Lord  Maiden, 
the  Duke  of  St  Albans,  the  Earl  of  Moira,  General  Johnson, 
and  Roger  Wilbraham,  Esq.,  at  No.  11,  from  1796  to  1800. 
Another  interesting  inhabitant,  probably  only  as  a  lodger, 
was  Isaac  D 'Israeli,  who  writes  a  letter  (undated)  to  Lady 
Blessington  from  St  James's  Place.  At  No.  34  Lord 
Cochrane,  better  known  as  the  Earl  of  Dundonald,  was 
once  living,  and  it  was  to  this  house,  according  to  a  writer 
in  London  Past  and  Present,  "that  the  swindler  De 
Berenger  came  on  21st  February  1814,  and  obtained  the 
disguise  by  which  he  hoped  to  elude  the  agents  of  the  Stock 
Exchange."  The  same  authority  speaks  of  Mrs  Robinson, 
the  actress,  once  living  at  No.  13,  the  assumption  being 
that  this  was  the  lady  who  became  the  mistress  of  George; 
Prince  of  Wales.  I  am,  however,  more  inclined  to  identify 
her  with  Mrs  Anastasia  Robinson,  the  singer,  who  was 
afterwards  the  wife  of  the  eccentric  Earl  of  Peterborough.1 

Coming  to  later  days  we  have  Captain  Marryat  at  No.  38, 
in  1832,  before  he  went  to  Duke  Street,  and  Captain  Basil 
Hall  at  No.  4  in  the  previous  year.  At  No.  25,  the  house 
which  had  been  built  by  Lord  Guildford,  Sir  Francis 
Burdett  lived  for  a  number  of  years,  and  died  on  23rd 
January  1844  ;  while  from  1822  to  1832  Sir  John  Lubbock 
resided  at  No.  23. 

But  the  two  most  famous  houses  in  St  James's  Place 
are  Spencer  House  and  Rogers'  old  home,  No.  22.  The 
former  was  designed  by  J.  Vardy  for  the  1st  Earl  Spencer; 
and  was  begun  about  the  end  of  1755  or  early  in  the  follow- 
ing year.  "It  will  be  superb  when  finished,"  writes  Mrs 
Delany,  who,  in  September  1756,  went  to  see  the  progress 
of  the  place  and  then  found  the  ground  floor  completed. 

1  See  Mrs  Delany 's  recollections  of  this  lady,  dictated  at  the 
request  of  Dr  Burney,  and  incorporated  in  his  History  of  Music, 
vol.  iv.,  p.  247.  Mr  Wheatley  in  his  Round  About  Piccadilly,  says 
Mrs  Robinson  was  living  at  No.  14,  in  1796. 



Although  Vardy  was  responsible  for  the  body  of  the  house, 
the  St  James's  Place  facade  was  the  work  of  James  Stuart, 
the  architect,  and  so  elaborate  was  the  work  that  the  house 
was  not  habitable  for  several  years.  Elmes,  speaking  of 
"this  magnificent  mansion,"  says:  "I  have  heard  it 
asserted  that  the  shell  of  Spencer  House,  consisting  of 
solid  stone,  cost  alone  50,000  guineas,"  while  Mr  Blom- 
field  speaks  of  its  internal  arrangements  as  being  "more 
modern  than  any  place  of  the  time."  l 

Magnificent  as  is  Spencer  House,  with  its  elaborate 
decorations  by  Zucchi,  and  interesting  from  its  political 
memories,  it  can  hardly  vie  with  the  small  residence  close 
by,  where  Rogers  lived  and  entertained  all,  or  nearly  all, 
the  notable  men  and  women  of  his  long-drawn-out  day. 

In  was  in  1802  that  Rogers,2  in  conjunction  with  Sir 
John  Lubbock,  purchased  a  house  in  St  James's  Place, 
overlooking  the  Green  Park.  As  the  friends  divided  the 
residence  I  assume  that  one  half  of  the  original  building 
became  the  residence  of  Lubbock  and  the  other  that  of 
Rogers.  This  latter  portion  is  numbered  22  and  repre- 
sents, from  the  beauty  and  rarity  of  its  contents  as  well 
as  from  the  illustrious  character  of  its  many  visitors  in 
the  past,  one  of  the  most  interesting  of  London's  many 
interesting  dwellings.  The  care  the  poet  expended  on  his 
house  is  recorded  in  a  variety  of  memoirs  and  letters  of 
the  period.  Clayden  3  tells  us  how  Rogers  set  to  work  to 
make  his  house  worthy  of  the  beautiful  objects  with  which 
he  intended  filling  it.  "  He  had  made  notes  of  household 

1 1  have  given  a  full  account  of  Spencer  House  in  my  Private 
Palaces  of  London,  and  therefore  do  not  say  more  about  the  place 

2  Another  banker  once  lived,  circa  1790,  in  one  of  the  houses  on 
the  west  side  of  St  James's  Place,  notably  Mr  Robert  Smith,  M.P. 
for  Nottingham,  and  later  created  by  George  III.  (very  unwillingly) 
Lord  Carrington. 

3  Early  Life  of  Rogers. 



arrangements  he  had  seen  in  houses  in  which  he  had 
visited,"  writes  his  biographer,  "had  given  much  study 
to  questions  of  decoration  and  ornament,  and  had  de- 
signed the  furniture  himself,  with  the  assistance  of  Hope's 
work  on  the  subject."  The  drawing-room  mantelpiece 
was  designed  by  Flaxman;  Stothard  planned  and  painted 
one  of  the  cabinets ;  the  skilled  hand  of  Chantrey  carved 
the  dining-room  sideboard,  which  the  sculptor  in  after 
days,  when  he  had  become  famous  and  a  guest  of  Rogers, 
pointed  out  to  his  host  as  his  work.  Greek  vases  dotted 
the  house  ;  much  of  the  furniture  was  modelled  from  the 
same  classic  source ;  the  staircase  was  decorated  with  a 
frieze  copied  from  a  famous  original  among  the  Elgin 
Marbles.  The  pictures  were  worthy  of  their  carefully 
prepared  setting.  Examples  of  Titian  and  Raphael, 
Correggio  and  Guido,  Veronese  and  Barocchio,  and  even 
of  Giotto's  tentative  imaginings,  rubbed  shoulders  with 
the  florid  wonders  of  Rubens  and  Reynolds'  distinguished 
canvases.  Here  was  the  superb  little  Knight  in  Armour 
which  Scott  admired  so  much ;  there  the  small  Raphael 
which  Rogers  hoped  he  might  have  in  the  room  in  which 
he  died  ;  in  a  portfolio  were  preserved  Flaxman 's  original 
designs  from  Homer ;  in  elaborate  cases  were  rare  and 
beautifully  bound  books,  and  on  them  ornaments  which 
showed  the  artistic  and  selective  character  of  their 
collector.  Well  might  Byron  exclaim :  "If  you  enter 
his  house,  his  drawing-room,  his  library,  you  of  yourself 
say,  '  This  is  not  the  dwelling  of  a  common  mind. '  There 
is  not  a  gem,  a  coin,  a  book  thrown  aside  on  his  chimney- 
piece,  his  sofa,  his  table,  that  does  not  bespeak  an  almost 
fastidious  elegance  in  the  possessor."  Macaulay  and 
Sumner,  Moore  and  Ticknor,  and  a  hundred  others,  who 
knew  the  host  and  his  possessions,  have  combined  in 
recording  the  exquisite  taste  exhibited  in  the  furnishing 
and  decoration  of  No.  22  St  James's  Place.  Hardly  will 


you  take  up  a  volume  of  memoirs  or  reminiscences  of  the 
period  but  you  find  some  mention  of  the  place  in  terms  of 
eulogy  and  admiration.  For  Rogers  was  acquainted  with 
everybody.  In  later  life  he  became  an  institution,  and 
people  forgave  the  bitterness  of  his  tongue,  because  those 
who  knew  him  well  understood  the  inherent  goodness  of 
his  heart,  and  casual  acquaintances  regarded,  perhaps,  a 
rude  retort  as  a  small  thing  as  against  the  pleasure  of 
enjoying  an  artistic  treat  or  listening  to  the  voice  of  one 
who  had  known  intimately  so  many  illustrious  people. 
What  Holland  House  was  on  a  large  scale,  so  was  the  St 
James's  Place  shrine  on  a  small  one.  Here  Byron  had 
refused  to  eat  anything  but  mashed  potatoes  soaked  in 
vinegar;  here  Sydney  Smith  had  uttered  his  famous 
mot  with  reference  to  the  lighting  of  Rogers'  dinner- 
table  ;  here  Fanny  Burney  had  dined  to  meet  Mrs  Crewe 
of  "  True  Blue  "  fame,  and  Mrs  Barbauld ;  here  Moore 
met  Byron  and  Campbell  and  Wordsworth  and  here 
were  held  those  breakfasts  beginning  at  ten,  when  "so 
agreeable  and  fascinating  was  the  conversation  of  the 
host  that  the  repast  seldom  ended  before  noon  and 
sometimes  extended  so  late  as  1  o'clock."  * 

"What  a  delightful  house  it  is  !  "  exclaims  Macaulay. 
"  It  looks  out  on  the  Green  Park  just  at  the  most  pleasant 
spot.  The  furniture  has  been  selected  with  a  delicacy  of 
taste  quite  unique.  Its  value  does  not  depend  on  fashion 
but  must  be  the  same  while  the  fine  arts  are  held  in  any 
esteem.  In  the  drawing-room,  for  example,  the  chimney- 
pieces  are  carved  by  Flaxman  into  the  most  beautiful 
Grecian  forms.  The  bookcase  is  painted  by  Stothard  in 
his  very  best  manner,  with  groups  from  Chaucer,  Shake- 
speare and  Boccaccio.  The  pictures  are  not  numerous, 
but  every  one  is  excellent.  In  the  dining-room  there  are 
also  some  beautiful  paintings.  But  the  three  most  re- 
1  Mackay,  Through  the  Long  Day. 


markable  objects  in  that  room  are,  I  think,  a  cast  of  Pope 
taken  after  death,  by  Roubiliac  ;  a  noble  model  in  terra- 
cotta, by  Michael  Angelo,  from  which  he  afterwards  made 
one  of  his  finest  statues,  that  of  Lorenzo  de  Medici ;  and 
lastly  a  mahogany  table  on  which  stands  an  antique  vase. " 

For  fifty-three  years  did  Rogers  dwell  amid  his  treasures, 
hardly  passing  a  day  without  receiving  in  St  James's 
Place  some  notable  guest.  In  1855  he  was  in  his  ninety- 
third  year  and  "  he  was  still  in  his  London  house  waiting, 
without  fear — indeed,  with  actual  desire — for  the  approach- 
ing change.  It  came  on  Tuesday  morning,  the  18th  of 
December,  when  he  passed  quietly  and  peacefully  away. " l 

After  Rogers'  death  his  collections  were  dispersed ; 
some  pictures,  including  The  Knight  in  Armour,  were  be- 
queathed by  him  to  the  National  Gallery  ;  and  his  famous 
home,  which  had  originally  (together  with  No.  23)  as  one 
house  belonged  to  the  Duke  of  St  Albans,  passed  to  alien 

Mr  Wheatley  reminds  me  that  by  the  side  of  the  house 
was  formerly  a  pathway  into  the  Green  Park.  The  gate 
has  now  been  locked  for  many  years,  and  once  a  writer  in 
Notes  and  Queries,  who  had  used  it  daily  between  the 
years  1810  and  1823,  asked  by  "whose  authority  this 
convenient  passage  has  been  closed,"  without,  apparently, 
receiving  any  satisfactory  reply.  Apropos  of  rights-of- 
way  the  following  story  is  given  by  Wraxall  in  his 
Posthumous  Memoirs  of  his  Own  Time : — 

"Sir  Richard  Phillipps,  a  Welsh  baronet  of  ancient 
descent,  when  member  for  Pembrokeshire  in  the  year 
1776,  having  preferred  a  request  to  his  Majesty,  through 
the  first  minister,  Lord  North,  for  permission  to  make  a 
carriage-road  up  to  the  front  of  his  house,  which  looked 
into  St  James's  Park,  met  with  a  refusal.  The  King, 
apprehensive  that  if  he  acceded  to  Sir  Richard's  desire  it 
1  Clayden,  Rogers  and  his  Contemporaries. 

H  113 

would  form  a  precedent  for  many  similar  applications, 
put  a  negative  on  it ;  but  Lord  North,  in  delivering  the 
answer,  softened  it  by  adding  that  if  he  wished  to  be 
created  an  Irish  peer  no  difficulty  would  be  experienced. 
This  honour  being  thus  tendered  him  he  accepted  it  and 
was  forthwith  made  a  baron  of  that  kingdom  by  the  title 
of  Lord  Milford.  His  intimate  friend  and  mine,  the  late 
Sir  John  Stepney,  related  this  fact  to  me  not  long  after  it 
took  place."1 

On  the  south  side  of  St  James's  Place  a  small  cul-de-sac 
was  known  as  Cleveland  Court,  and  here,  according  to  Mrs 
Delany,  a  Mrs  Stock  took  a  house  in  1749,  thus  proving 
its  one-time  residential  character.  It  is  clearly  marked 
in  Horwood's  plan,  and  is  not  to  be  confounded  with  the 
Cleveland  Court  described  by  Elmes  as  being  "almost 
eight  houses  on  the  left  hand  from  St  James's  Street," 
which  ran  from  Cleveland  Row  northwards  and  is  now 
bounded  on  the  west  by  Bridgwater  House. 

The  next  turning  out  of  St  James's  Street  is  Little  St 
James's  Street,  which  is  given  in  1831  as  being  about  eleven 
houses  on  the  left  hand  going  from  St  James's  Palace  to 
Piccadilly.  Connected  with  it  was  Catherine  Wheel  Yard 
Lane,  interesting  because  Mrs  Delany  once  took  a  house 
here  in  1768.  At  an  earlier  period,  as  we  have  seen,  she 
was  in  St  James's  Place  and  also  at  a  later,  and  it  seems 
likely,  therefore,  that  if  the  house  she  occupied  at  these 
periods  was  the  same,  she  must  have  given  it  up  or  let  it 
for  a  time.  The  reference  we  have  to  the  place  in  Catherine 
Wheel  Lane  is  contained  in  a  letter  to  her  sister,  dated 
from  Whitehall,  14th  October  1768,  in  which  she  says : 

"  I  was  told  yesterday  of  (a  house),  and  went  to  see  it; 
the  place  is  called  Catherine  Wheel  Lane ;  it  is  behind  the 

1  In  1863  the  Public  Schools  Club  was  established  at  No.  17 
St  James's  Place,  in  a  house  which  had  previously  been  the 
residence  of  Lord  Lyttelton. 



Thatched  House  Tavern  in  St  James's  Street ;  but  it  is 
not  near  enough  to  be  at  all  incommoded  by  it ;  it  is  very 
small,  but  both  prettily  and  conveniently  situated ;  the 
front  faces  a  cross  street  now  called  Little  St  James's 
Street,  and  the  back  looks  into^the  Duke  of  Bridgewater's 
garden  very  pleasantly,  and  a  coach  drives  very  well  to  the 
door,  and  people  of  fashion  live  in  the  row.  The  landlord 
is  a  man  of  good  character,  and  is  going  to  fit  it  up,  and 
will  make  any  alterations  I  shall  desire ;  it  is  to  be  entirely 
new  painted,  etc.,  and  the  best  rooms  new  sashed  ;  it  has 
been  built  about  five  and  thirty  years.  It  cannot  possibly 
be  finished  before  Christmas,  at  which  time,  if  I  agree  with 
him,  the  rent  will  commence ;  but  I  shall  not  hurry  into 
it.  ...  The  Landlord  is  to  paper  the  rooms  in  the  manner 

The  house  was  taken,  but  on  the  following  19th  January 
Mrs  Delany  still  writes  from  Whitehall.  However,  on 
16th  June  1769  she  dates  a  letter  from  T.  H.  C.  (Thatched 
House  Court),  and  again,  on  27th  December,  she  tells 
Lady  Andover  how  good  she  is  to  bestow  so  much  of  her 
time  and  thoughts  "on  the  solitary  inhabitant  of  the 
Little  Thatch." 

It  seems  that  Thatched  House  Court  was  connected 
with  Little  St  James's  Street  by  Catherine  Wheel  Lane, 
so  that,  according  to  Mrs  Delany 's  description  of  her 
house,  it  must  have  been  at  the  lower  end  of  Thatched 
Court  House,  looking  up  Catherine  Wheel  Lane  into  the 
thoroughfare,  and  although  she  speaks  of  the  residence  as 
being  in  Catherine  Wheel  Lane  it  was  really  in  the  court. 
It  is  curious  that  Rhodes 's  plan  of  the  parish,  dated  1770, 
does  not  give  Little  St  James's  Street,  but  marks  the 
turning  as  Catherine  Wheel  Lane,  as  if  the  latter  had  an 
exit  into  St  James's  Street. 

We  have  now  arrived  at  the  bottom  of  St  James's  Street, 
1  Mrs  Delany.  A  Memoir,  by  George  Paston. 


and  should  properly,  I  suppose,  end  here,  but  Cleveland 
Row  seems  so  part  and  parcel  with  the  thoroughfare  that 
I  must  spare  a  few  words  for  it. 


Cleveland  Row  faces  St  James's  Palace  and  forms  a 
western  continuation  of  Pall  Mall  as  far  as  Cleveland 
Square  and  Bridgewater  House.  Its  interesting  inhabit- 
ants in  the  past  include,  in  1695,  the  Countess  of  Thanet, 
and  the  Earl  of  Bridgewater,1  who  are  given  in  the  Rate 
Books  as  "over  against  St  James's  stables  " ;  and  Mason, 
the  poet,  who,  after  his  marriage  in  1767,  came  to  lodge  with 
his  wife  here.  The  approximate  position  of  his  residence 
is  indicated  from  the  following  passage  in  one  of  his  letters 
to  Gray  (2nd  February  1767) : — "  We  have  changed  our 
lodgings,  and  are  to  be  found  at  Mr  Mennis's,  a  tailor,  at 
the  Golden  Ball  in  Cleveland  Row,  the  last  door  but  one 
nearest  the  Green  Park  Wall."  Later,  in  1772,  Lord 
Rodney  occupied  one  of  the  houses,  and  Wraxall  relates 
how  he  "passed  much  time  with  him  here,  down  to  the 
very  moment  of  his  departure  for  the  West  Indies  in  1779. 
In  the  List  of  Persons  who  paid  Tax  on  Male  Servants  in 
1780, 1  find  Mrs  Susanna  Bracken  given  as  living  in  Cleve- 
land Row ;  while  five  years  later  the  Rate  Books  record 
the  following  residents  here: — the  Hon.  George  Selwyn, 
John  Fenton,  Lord  Berwick  and  the  Hon.  Keith  Stuart ; 
the  Duke  of  Bridgewater  is  also  given  as  living  in  Cleveland 

The  house  in  which  Selwyn  died,  on  25th  January  1791, 
was  formerly  the  residence  of  his  mother,  and  in  it  occurred 
the  famous  quarrel  between  Walpole  and  Townshend,  which 
Gay  parodied  with  such  success  in  his  Beggar's  Opera.2 

1  It  is  curious  that  Lord  Bridgewater  should  have  lived  near  the 
spot  where  later  the  Duke  of  Bridgewater  had  his  residence. 

2  Wraxall 's  Memoirs. 



A  house  adjoining  is  interesting  for  another  reason. 
"In  May  1761,"  writes  Sir  Edward  Hertslet,  "the  Earl 
of  Bute  removed  his  office  (The  Foreign  Office) — the 
Northern  Department — from  the  Cockpit  at  Whitehall 
to  a  house  in  Cleveland  Road,  and  it  had  previously 
belonged  to  Baron  Behr." 

Various  letters  are  given  by  Sir  Edward  referring  to  the 
residence,  one  of  which  records  the  addition  (in  1771)  of  a 
smaller  house  adjoining  to  the  office ;  and  yet  another 
notifying  the  removal  of  the  Foreign  Office  from  Cleveland 
Row  in  1786. x  The  premises  had  been  rented  from  Sir 
George  Warren. 

Later  residents  in  Cleveland  Row  were  Henry  Flood, 
the  orator,  who  was  living  here  while  a  member  of  the 
English  Parliament  in  1784 ;  Sir  Sydney  Smith,  in 
1809,  and  Theodore  Hook,  who  rented,  from  1827-1831, 
the  large  house  (No.  5)  occupied  by  Smith,  and  belonging 
to  Lord  Lowther,  at  £100  a  year,  and  characteristically 
borrowed  a  large  sum  to  furnish  it. 

Leading  out  of  Cleveland  Row  were  two  tributary 
streets,  one  being  known  as  Russell  Court — whose  only 
notable  inhabitant  appears  to  have  been  Sir  Gilbert 
Affleck,  who  was  living  here  in  1796 2 — and  the  other  as 
Cleveland  Court.  Both  this  and  the  row  take  their 
name,  of  course,  from  Cleveland  House,  which  formerly 
stood  here. 

In  the  court  Charles  Jervas,  the  painter,  died  on  2nd 
November  1739.  Pope  used  at  one  time  to  take  lessons 
from  Jervas  here,  and  references  in  the  poet's  letters 
attest  this,  and  also  the  fact  that  on  several  occasions 
Pope  actually  stayed  in  the  house. 

Although  George  Selwyn  is  given,  as  we  have  seen,  in 
the  Rate  Books  as  living  in  Cleveland  Row,  his  residence 

1  See  Recollections  of  the  Foreign  Office. 

2  St  George's  Rate  Books. 



is  also  stated  to  have  been  in  Cleveland  Court.1  It  is 
therefore  possible  that  it  was  at  the  corner  of  the  two,  a 
situation  likely  to  confuse  the  very  inadequate  methods 
of  rate-collectors  in  those  days.  It  seems  certain  that  it 
was  in  the  court,  at  any  rate,  that  Selwyn's  friend,  Gilly 
Williams,  died  on  25th  November  1805. 

One  other  reference  to  Cleveland  Court  is  contained  in 
Mrs  Delany's  Autobiography,  for  that  lady,  writing  to  Miss 
Dewes,  on  15th  August  1768,  remarks:  "At  our  return 
we  [the  Duchess  of  Portland  was  her  companion]  went  to 
my  Lord  Carlisle's  in  Cleveland  Court  (nobody  in  Town), 
to  see  the  King  of  Denmark,  who  is  in  Lord  Bathe's  old 
house  at  St  James's  and  opposite  to  Lord  Carlisle's.  (I 
should  have  said  Sir  W.  Musgrave's.)  His  Majesty  was 
dressing,  and'  the  blinds  down  all  but  a  little  peep ;  the 
Duchess  had  the  satisfaction  of  a  glimpse  of  him,  and  I  of 
his  valet  de  chambre." 

As  I  have  said,  Cleveland  House  and  its  grounds 
occupied  the  site  of  the  row  and  court  of  that  name. 
The  mansion  was  originally  known  as  Berkshire  House; 
and  had  been  erected  by  Thomas  Howard,  Earl  of  Berk- 
shire, in  the  reign  of  Charles  I.  Here  it  was  that  Lord 
Clarendon  lived  after  he  had  left  Worcester  House  and 
before  Clarendon  House  in  Piccadilly  was  ready  for  him. 
Here  he  was  visited  by  Evelyn  and  Pepys,  and  here,  at  a 
Council,  Samuel  records  that  "my  Lord  Chancellor  was 
sleeping  and. snoring  the  greater  part  of  the  time."  Other 
tenants  of  the  place  included  the  French  Ambassador,  in 
1664-1665.  Adjoining  the  house  was  another,  which  be- 
longed partly  to  Sir  William  Pulteney,  as  is  shown  by  a 
warrant,  dated  24th  September  1670,  "  to  pay  Sir  William 

1  This  seems  proved  by  an  entry  in  Romney's  engagement- 
book,  which  reads  "Maria  Fagniani,  Cleveland  Court" — Maria 
Fagniani  being,  of  course,  the  adopted  daughter  (or  actual 
daughter)  of  George  Selwyn,  later  Marchioness  of  Hertford. 



Pulteney  £400  for  his  interest  in  a  house  adjoining 
Berkshire  House." 

In  1668  the  property  was  purchased  by  Charles  II.  for 
Lady  Castlemaine,  who,  two  years  later,  was  created 
Duchess  of  Cleveland  and  who  then  gave  her  new  name 
to  the  residence. 

In  course  of  time  she  sold  a  portion  of  the  grounds  to- 
wards St  James's  Street,  and  several  houses  were  erected 
on  it,  in  one  of  which  the  Earl  of  Nottingham  resided, 
presumably  after  he  had  sold  Nottingham  House,  Ken- 
sington, to  William  III.  in  1691.  On  the  death  of  the 
Duchess  of  Cleveland  in  1709,  Cleveland  House  passed  to 
her  son,  Charles  Fitzroy,  Duke  of  Cleveland,  whose  son 
married  one  of  Lord  Nottingham's  daughters,  and  who 
continued  to  live  here  till  his  death  in  1730.  The  house 
was  later  purchased  by  the  1st  Duke  of  Bridgewater, 
whose  son,  the  3rd  Duke,  considerably  enlarged  it. 
Eventually  the  property  passed  to  the  1st  Earl  of 
Ellesmere  who,  in  1849,  built  the  present  Bridgewater 
House,  from  the  designs  of  Sir  Charles  Barry.  Originally 
Berkshire  or  Cleveland  House  and  its  grounds  extended 
from  the  Park  to  the  corner  of  St  James's  Street.1 

The  western  portion  of  Cleveland  Row  is  now  known  as 
Cleveland  Square,  surely  the  strangest  of  the  many  strange 
squares  in  London.  We  know  what  it  looks  like  to-day  : 
its  north  side  filled  up  by  Bridgewater  House,  Mr 
Rochfort-Maguire's  island-residence  facing  it,  and  behind 
that  the  row  of  small  houses  ending  on  their  east  side  in 
the  once  flower-bedecked  house  of  the  late  Lord  Armistead, 
the  life-long  friend  of  Mr  Gladstone.  What  the  place  looked 
like  two  hundred  years  ago  can  be  judged  by  a  glance  at 
Kip's  map,  dated  1710-1720. 

1  Bridgewater  House  is  another  of  the  mansions  dealt  with  in 
The  Private  Palaces  of  London,  where  an  account  of  its  pictorial 
treasures  will  be  found. 



It  is  difficult  nowadays  to  differentiate  between  Cleve- 
land Square  and  Cleveland  Row,  because  in  earlier  times 
the  latter  ran  right  through  to  the  Park  on  both  sides  of 
the  way — excepting  where  Cleveland  House  broke  its 
north  line — and  the  houses  of  the  earlier  "  Row,"  at  their 
west  end,  became  later  the  residences  in  the  square.  In 
addition  to  those  people  I  have  already  noted  as  living 
here  may  be  mentioned  Lord  George  Gordon  in  1785 ; 
Thomas  Grenville,  the  great  book-collector,  at  No.  15, 
from  1796  to  1801 ;  Sir  Gilbert  Blane,  a  once  well-known 
physician,  at  No.  4,  from  1800  to  1802  ;  and  Lord  Castle- 
reagh,  who  occupied,  in  1803,  No.  8,  a  house  later  tenanted 
by  Viscount  Sydney. 



THERE  are  ten  important  clubs,  as  well  as  a  few  lesser  ones, 
in  St  James's  Street  to-day.  Of  the  larger  ones  two  are 
on  the  east  and  eight  on  the  west  side.  In  the  order  of 
their  establishment  they  are  as  follows  : — White's  (1697), 
The  Cocoa  Tree  (1746),  Boodle's  (1762),  Brooks's  (1764), 
Arthur's  (1765),  The  Conservative  (1840),  The  New 
University  (1863),  The  Thatched  House  (1865),  The 
Devonshire  (1875)  and  The  Royal  Societies  (1894).  Most 
of  them  are  what  is  termed  "social,"  and  only  three 
can  be  regarded  as  political — even  in  the  wide  extension 
which  that  term  has  come  to  assume — Brooks's,  The 
Conservative  and  The  Devonshire. 

Both  Pall  Mall  and  Piccadilly  have  more  clubs  than 
St  James's  Street,  but  none  of  them  dates  its  formation 
back  further  than  the  early  years  of  the  nineteenth 
century,  and  therefore  in  this  region,  which  is  known  as 
Clubland,  St  James's  Street  takes  priority  in  age  and,  in 
the  case  of  certain  clubs,  in  importance  and  historic  and 
social  interest. 

The  genesis  of  some  of  the  earlier  established  clubs  was 
in  the  cocoa-houses  which  sprang  up  in  London  in  the 
middle  of  the  eighteenth  century. 

The  proprietor  of  a  cocoa-house  seems  to  have  awaited 
the  psychological  moment  when  his  clientele  was  of  such 
a  character  as  to  be  more  or  less  permanent  and  to  have 
become  personally  acquainted  with  each  other.  Then  he 
would  sound  the  influential  and  find  that  they  were  pre- 
pared to  subscribe  certain  amounts  on  the  understanding 



that  strangers  were  no  longer  admitted — in  a  word,  he 
acquired  the  necessary  powers  to  run  his  establishment 
under  rules  which  automatically  converted  what  had  been 
a  public  house  of  call  into  a  private  society's  headquarters. 
Both  White's  and  The  Cocoa  Tree  are  examples  of  this 
metamorphosis,  and  as  such  have  a  double  history  :  their 
records  as  cocoa-houses  and  their  more  varied  annals  as 


"White's  "  Club  is  something  more  than  a  club  ;  it  is 
an  institution.  For  over  two  hundred  years  it  has  been 
so  intimately  associated  with  the  political  history  of  the 
country  as  almost  to  take  its  place  in  its  annals  by  the 
side  of  Brooks 's.  Its  records  have  been  preserved  from 
a  very  early  date,  and  their  publication  (1892),  by  the  Hon. 
Algernon  Bourke,  in  two  large  quarto  volumes,  will  have 
enlightened  those  interested  in  the  club  and  political  life 
of  two  centuries,  concerning  all  data  on  which  they  may 
require  information.  Besides  this  the  few  other  works 
which  deal  generally  with  the  clubs  of  London  have,  of 
course,  repeated  as  fully  as  possible  the  historic  details 
which  cling  with  such  full  growth  round  White's.  For  this 
reason  it  is  not  necessary  here  to  recapitulate  as  amply 
as  would  otherwise  have  been  incumbent  on  me  the  annals 
of  the  club.  I  am,  indeed,  gleaning  in  a  field  that  has 
been  already  carefully  searched,  and  I  must  therefore  fall 
back  on  the  full  sheaves  of  earlier  workers,  perhaps  being 
able  here  and  there  to  add  a  wisp  to  the  already  well- 
garnered  store. 

White's  Club  grew  out  of  White's  Chocolate  House.  In 
its  earlier  form  it  was  first  opened  by  one  Francis  White, 
in  1693,  at  a  house  on  the  east  side  of  St  James's  Street, 
its  site  being  to-day  occupied  by  Boodle's  Club.  Four 





years  later  (1697),  White,  requiring  more  commodious 
premises,  found  them  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  street. 
The  house  he  took  was  three  doors  south  of  St  James's 
Place,  and  its  exact  position  is  the  northern  portion  of 
the  present  Arthur's  club-house.  Here  White  continued 
till  1702,  when  he  took  in  the  adjoining  house  on  the 
south  side  of  his  premises.  At  this  time  John  Arthur's 
name  appears  in  the  Rate  Books  as  White's  next-door 
neighbour  on  the  north  side,  and,  as  Mr  Bourke  remarks, 
"the  name  is  an  important  one  in  tracing  the  subsequent 
history  of  the  club,  Arthur  being  at  this  time  White's 
servant  and  assistant-manager."  It  will  be  found  that 
members  of  White's  (Lord  March,  for  instance)  sometimes 
date  from  "Arthur's,"  which  was  only  another  name  for 
White's,  and  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  present  Arthur's 

White  carried  on  his  Chocolate  House  with  success  till 
1711,  in  the  February  of  which  year  he  died,  and  was  buried 
in  St  James's,  Piccadilly.  From  certain  evidence  in  his 
will,  it  has  been  conjectured  that  he  may  have  been  of 
Italian  extraction,  and  his  name  merely  an  anglicised 
form  of  Bianchi  or  Bianco. 

His  widow  succeeded  to  the  business  and  continued  to 
direct  it ;  its  fashionable  character  being  well  maintained. 
In  those  days  it  was  from  White's  that  tickets  for 
masquerades  (Mr  Comely 's  in  Soho  Square  and  others) 
and  even  for  the  opera  (then  under  Heidegger)  were 

In  the  Rate  Books,  Elizabeth  White  is  first  set  down  as 
Widow  White,  then  as  Mrs  White,  and  finally  as  Madame 
White,  distinctions  denoting  gradually  improved  standing. 
She  continued  the  management  till  some  time  between 
1725  and  1729,  after  which  year  her  name  disappears.  In 
1730  John  Arthur  is  entered  as  tenant.  He,  no  doubt, 
had  been  previously  associated  with  Mrs  White  in  the 



business  and,  at  her  death  or  retirement,  made 
arrangements  to  conduct  it  on  his  own  account. 

Two  years  later  (1732)  he  added  to  the  premises  the 
house  he  had  formerly  occupied,  so  that  by  this  time  the 
chocolate-house  embraced  three  tenements — the  second, 
third  and  fourth  houses  below  St  James's  Place.  In 
the  April  of  the  following  year  occurred  the  fire  which 
burned  the  place  to  the  ground.  The  Daily  Courant  for 
the  30th  of  the  month  thus  refers  to  the  circumstance  : 

"On  Saturday  morning,  about  four  o'clock,  a  fire  broke 
out  at  Mr  Arthur's,  at  White's  Chocolate  House  in  St 
James's  Street,  which  burnt  with  great  violence,  and  in 
a  short  time  entirely  consumed  that  house  with  two  others, 
and  much  damaged  several  others  adjoining.  Young 
Mr  Arthur's  wife  leaped  out  of  a  window  two  pair  of  stairs 
upon  a  feather  bed  without  much  hurt.  A  fine  collection 
of  paintings  belonging  to  Sir  Andrew  Fountaine,  valued 
at  £3000  at  least,  was  entirely  destroyed.  His  Majesty 
and  the  Prince  of  Wales  were  present  about  an  hour,  and 
encouraged  the  firemen  and  people  to  work  at  the  engines, 
a  guard  being  ordered  from  St  James's  to  keep  off  the 
populace.  His  Majesty  ordered  twenty  guineas  among 
the  firemen  and  others  that  worked  the  engines,  and  five 
guineas  to  the  guard  ;  and  the  Prince  ordered  the  firemen 
ten  guineas." 

Apart  from  the  notices  of  the  event  in  the  daily  Press, 
the  fire  at  White's  has  been  perpetuated  in  pictorial  art,  for 
in  The  Rake's  Progress  Hogarth  introduced  the  incident.  In 
Plate  4  of  the  series  it  is  indicated  by  the  forked  lightning 
striking  the  house  from  which  hangs  a  sign  with  the  word 
"White's  "  on  it.  This  allusion,  however,  only  occurs  in 
the  final  state  of  the  plate,  which  was  greatly  altered  during 
the  progress  of  engraving.  It  will  be  observed  that  this 
house  is  not  the  burnt-down  White's,  but  Gaunt's  coffee- 
house, to  which  the  chocolate-house  was  temporarily 



removed.  From  this  it  has  been  conjectured  that 
Hogarth  had  begun  the  plate  before  the  fire,  and  that  on 
its  occurrence  he  took  the  opportunity  of  recording  the 
event,  and  also  of  putting  in  the  group  of  gambling  boys 
(as  a  satiric  touch  in  allusion  to  the  play  that  had  already 
become  notorious  at  White's),  a  group  not  included  in  the 
original  picture.1  In  Plate  6  of  the  same  series  another 
allusion  is  made  to  the  fire,  by  the  introduction  of  flames 
bursting  from  the  wainscot,  to  which  the  gamblers, 
intent  on  their  play,  pay  no  heed. 

On  3rd  May,  Arthur  inserted  an  advertisement  in  The 
Daily  Post  to  the  effect  that  he  had  "  removed  to  Gaunt 's 
Coffee  House,  next  the  St  James's  Coffee  House  in  St 
James's  Street,"  and  begging  for  the  patronage  there  of 
his  former  supporters. 

The  rebuilding  of  White's  does  not  appear  to  have  been 
completed  till  1736,  in  which  year  Robert  Arthur  ("the 
young  Mr  Arthur  " ;  John,  his  father,  having  by  this  time 
died  or  retired)  appears  in  the  Rate  Books  as  proprietor 
of  the  newly  erected  premises,  which  occupied  the  sites 
of  the  three  houses  already  mentioned  as  having  been 
gradually  acquired. 

White's  Club  had  already  been  formed,  but  owing  to  the 
fire  all  records  of  its  institution  are  wanting.  It  has  been 
conjectured  that  the  date  of  its  inception  coincided  with 
the  removal  of  the  Chocolate  House  to  the  west  side  of  the 
street  in  1697 ;  but  nothing  is  definitely  known,  and 
although  hi  1736  Arthur  drew  up  a  set  of  fresh  rules, 
probably  from  memory,  he  omitted,  or  was  unable,  to  set 

1  As  the  engraving  reversed  the  picture,  the  generality  of  the 
plates  show  White's  on  the  wrong  (east)  side  of  the  street.  It  is 
curious,  however,  that  in  the  engraving  copied  from  the  oil  paint- 
ing (which,  by  the  by,  is  in  the  Soane  Museum) ,  the  word  "  White's  " 
on  the  sign  is  left  reversed  ;  that  in  looking  at  it,  it  reads  back- 
wards. This  is  so  in  the  excellent  reproduction  given  in  the 
History  of  White's,  and  is  a  point  not  before  noticed,  I  think. 



down  the  exact  date,  or  to  reconstruct  a  list  of  the  original 
members.  In  any  case  it  seems  fairly  obvious  that  the 
Old  Club  was  started  in  White's  time ;  the  Young  Club 
not  coming  into  existence  till  1743. 

The  rules  number  ten.  No  one  was  to  be  admitted  ex- 
cept by  ballot ;  one  black  ball  excluded ;  each  member  was 
to  pay  "a  guinea  a  year  towards  having  a  good  cook  "; 
no  one  was  to  be  admitted  to  dinner  or  supper  unless  he 
was  a  member  ;  supper  was  to  be  served  at  ten  o'clock,  and 
the  bill  brought  at  twelve,  and  no  one  was  to  be  balloted 
for  "but  during  the  sitting  of  Parliament";  this  last 
rule  apparently  introduced  the  political  character  which 
attached  to  the  club  in  after  days,  although  at  this  time 
it  was  essentially  non-party,  and  admitted  men  of  all 
shades  of  opinion  so  long  as  their  loyalty  to  the  Throne 
was  unquestioned. 

The  line  was  drawn,  naturally,  at  Jacobites,  although 
one  or  two  of  the  earlier  members  might  have  been  supposed 
to  labour  under  some  suspicion  in  this  respect.  The 
number  of  members  in  1736  (when  the  existing  records 
begin)  was  eighty-two. 

In  the  meantime  the  Chocolate  House  continued  to 
flourish  under  Robert  Arthur's  management,  and  it  seems 
to  have  been  from  its  regular  customers  that  the  old  Club 
was  largely  reinforced.  "The first  step  towards  becoming 
a  member  of  the  Old  Club,"  writes  Mr  Bourke,  "would  be 
to  be  constantly  in  evidence  at  the  Chocolate  House,  and 
among  Arthur's  customers  were  many  men  of  good  birth 
and  social  standing,  anxious  for  election  into  the  exclusive 
circle  of  the  Old  Club,  but  who  found  themselves  debarred 
by  that  very  exclusiveness  for  more  years  than  they  could 
afford  to  wait."  This  circumstance  led  to  the  formation 
of  what  was  called  the  Young  Club — a  kind  of  waiting- 
room  or  probationary  stage  to  the  older  institution. 
This  new  departure  was  based  on  its  prototype :  its  rules 


0  ^ 

-"  ^ 


I  * 

2  I 

<"  *5 


K  ^J 


were  practically  the  same ;  its  subscription  was  the  same. 
That  it  was  no  easy  matter  to  pass  from  one  to  the  other 
is  proved  by  the  fact  that  so  well  known  and  popular  a 
man  as  Selwyn  took  eight  years  to  compass  it,  and  that 
his  friend  Lord  March  (the  "  old  Q  "  of  later  days)  never 
got  in  at  all,  being  rejected  as  a  "foreigner,"  probably 
in  allusion,  as  Mr  Bourke  suggests,  to  his  prolonged  stays 
in  France. 

It  was  not  till  1781  that  the  two  sections  of  the  Club 
were  amalgamated  and  henceforth  the  allusions  to  the 
"  Old  "  and  "  New  "  Club,  which  are  so  frequent  in  the 
letters  of  the  period,1  cease  and  "  White's  "  takes  their 
place.  The  correspondence  of  Horace  Walpole  is,  as 
most  of  us  know,  full  of  references  to  White's,  its  members, 
its  rules,  manners  and  customs,  its  social  and  political 
activity,  and  anecdotes  and  bon-mots  connected  with  it 
and  its  habitue. 

In  1755  2  both  clubs  moved  from  the  west  to  the  east 
side  of  the  thoroughfare,  and  took  up  their  quarters  in  the 
"Great  House  of  St  James's  Street,"  with  which  the 
fortunes  of  White's  have  ever  since  been  identified.3 

This  house  (No.  87)  had  previously  belonged  to  Sir 
Whistler  Webster,  and  from  him  Arthur  purchased  the 
freehold.  The  place  had  already  interesting  associations. 
Here  lived  that  Countess  of  Northumberland  noted  for 
the  almost  regal  state  she  kept  up,  and  of  whom  Walpole 
has  recorded  some  interesting  data.  Henry,  2nd  Duke 
of  Beaufort  was  the  tenant  of  the  house  in  the  early  years 
of  the  eighteenth  centuiy,  and  after  him  the  Duchess 

1  See  particularly  the  Selwyn  correspondence. 

2  In  1750  Erasmus  Mumford  had  published  a  "Letter  to  the 
Club  at  White's,  in  which  are  set  forth  the  great  Expediency  of 
Repealing  the  Laws  now  in  Force  against  Excessive  Gambling, 

3  At  this  time  the  inclusive  membership  was  three  hundred  and 



of  Newcastle  came  to  live  there  in  1716.  Sir  William 
Windham  succeeded  her,  and  was  in  turn  followed  (in  1721) 
by  Sir  Thomas  Webster  who,  according  to  the  Rate  Books, 
appears  to  have  owned  the  property.  To  it  Sir  Whistler 
Webster,  his  son,  succeeded,  and  from  him,  as  I  have  stated, 
it  passed  to  Arthur. 

Having  seen  the  club  safely  ensconced  in  its  new  home, 
Robert  Arthur  made  over  the  management  to  Robert 
Mackreth,  his  whilom  assistant,  and  subsequently  his 
son-in-law.  When  Arthur  died,  in  his  house  in  St  James's 
Place,  in  1761,  it  was  found  that  he  had  left  his  considerable 
property,  including  White's  club-house  and  other  belong- 
ings in  the  neighbourhood,  to  his  daughter,  Mary,  and  thus 
it  passed  into  Mackreth 's  hands.  "Bob,"  as  he  was 
familiarly  called,  did  not  continue  the  management  long, 
for  in  1763  we  find  him  sending  the  following  letter 
(possibly  a  circular  one)  to  Selwyn  with  regard  to  the 
change : — 

April  5,  1763. 

Having  quitted  business  entirely,  and  let  my  house 
to  the  Cherubim,  who  is  my  near  relation,  I  humbly 
beg  leave,  after  returning  you  my  most  grateful  thanks 
for  all  favours,  to  recommend  him  to  your  patronage,  not 
doubting,  by  the  long  experience  I  have  had  of  his  fidelity, 
that  he  will  strenuously  endeavour  to  oblige. 

I  am,  Sir, 
Your  most  dutiful  and  much  obliged 

humble  servant,      R.  MACKRETH. 

Who  this  mysterious  "  Cherubim  "  was  has  not  been 
traced.  Evidently,  however,  he  had  been  an  assistant 
of  Mackreth,  and  was  well  known  to  the  members.  It 
has  been  affirmed  that  his  name  was  Chambers,  but  why 



such  an  angelic  name  was  given  him,  unless  for  some  such 
reason  as  it  was  applied  to  the  10th  Hussars,1  is  not  clear. 
Seven  years  after  his  taking  over  the  management  we 
find  the  name  of  John  Martindale  as  "  The  master  of  the 
house."  He  appears  to  have  been  a  scion  of  a  family 
which  was,  to  use  Mr  Bourke's  phrase,  "engaged  in  minister- 
ing to  the  amusement  of  the  upper  classes  in  one  way  or 
another. "  One  of  its  members  was  a  saddler  in  St  James's 
Street,  and  made  much  money  by  his  stud  horse,  Regulus ; 
another,  Henry,  kept  a  gaming-house,  and  was  on  one 
occasion  fined,  in  company  with  the  play-loving  Lady 
Buckinghamshire  and  others,  for  so  doing.  John  Martin- 
dale  inaugurated  his  reign  by  whipping  up  subscriptions, 
many  of  which  were  as  much  as  five  years  in  arrears.  As 
a  consequence,  certain  resignations  took  place,  the  Duke 
of  Rutland,  Lord  Chesterfield,  Lord  Holland  and  Lord 
Berkeley  being  among  the  seceders.  Subscriptions  to  the 
Old  Club  were  raised  ;  committees  were  formed  to  inquire 
into  the  working  of  the  institution ;  and,  in  short,  a  period 
of  unrest  set  in.  The  fusion  of  the  Old  and  New  Clubs 
in  1781  may  be  regarded  as  putting  the  crowning  touch 
to  Martindale's  schemes  for  improvement ;  it  certainly 
inaugurated  a  new  era  in  the  club's  economic  history. 
Its  more  public  character  may  be  said  to  have  undergone 
a  no  less  marked  change  two  years  later,  when  Pitt  was 
elected  a  member,  and  White's  passed  for  a  time  into 
a  political  centre  of  activity.  This  circumstance  had  a 
far-reaching  effect ;  it  caused  the  secession  of  Fox  and  his 
friends,  who  henceforth  set  up  their  standard,  both  of  play 
and  politics,  at  Brooks 's,  and  thus  led  to  the  rivalry  which 
existed  for  so  many  years  between  the  two  clubs.  Many 
of  the  protagonists,  such  as  Pitt  himself  and  the  Prince  of 
Wales,  were  actually  members  of  both,  but  they  henceforth 

1  The  wearing  of  trousers  of  a  cherry  colour  by  this  regiment  is 
said  to  have  given  rise  to  this  atrocious  pun. 
i  129 


identified  themselves  (if  Pitt  can  be  said  ever  to  have 
gone  so  far  as  this)  with  one  or  other  of  the  rival  houses. 
Gillray 's  famous  caricature,  entitled  Promised  Horrors  of  the 
French  Invasion,  dated  1796,  shows  the  position  taken  up 
by  Brooks  and  White  and  their  members  in  the  supposi- 
titious event.  The  partisans  at  the  former  are  making 
good  use  of  a  guillotine  placed  on  its  balcony;  from  the 
balcony  of  the  latter  the  bodies  of  illustrious  members 
are  hurled  into  the  street,  where  Fox  belabours  Pitt  at  a 
whipping-post,  and  St  James's  Palace  is  burning  furiously. 
A  year  after  this  Pitt's  committee  met  at  White's,  and  for 
the  first  time  a  standing  committee  of  the  club  was  elected. 
There  is  no  necessity  to  recapitulate  the  various  political 
events  connected  with  White's  during  this  period,  for  they 
largely  enter  into  the  history  of  the  country,  where  allusions 
to  them  will  be  found.  The  more  domestic  side  of  the 
club's  annals  here  chiefly  concern  us.  The  first  landmark 
in  these  occurs  in  1812,  in  which  year  Martindale  gave  up 
the  management  and  was  succeeded  in  it  by  George 
Raggett.  The  new  proprietor  had  already  had  experience 
in  the  management  of  clubs,  and  he  carried  on  his  new 
venture  with  energy  and  astuteness.  His  waiting  up  till 
play  was  over,  sweeping  the  floors  for  stray  counters 
(often  representing  considerable  amounts),  and  thus 
securing  himself  a  decent  income,  is  a  fact  recorded  in 
one  of  his  own  statements.  Under  him  the  famous 
Bow  Window  became  a  feature  of  the  club — the  shrine  of 
Brummell  and  his  set ;  the  terror  of  the  debutantes  passing 
down  St  James's  Street  to  the  Palace;  the  ceil  de  bceuf, 
so  to  term  it,  of  fashion  and  gossip.  Mr  Bourke,  referring 
to  it,  says  :  "The  leaders  of  the  inner  circle  of  the  club 
were  its  occupants,  and  to  them  it  was  tacitly  relinquished 
by  the  rest.  From  members  still  living  we  learn  that, 
within  their  memory,  an  ordinary  frequenter  of  White's 
would  as  soon  have  thought  of  taking  his  seat  on  the  throne 



W     ^3 
en     <u 


in  the  House  of  Lords  as  of  appropriating  one  of  the  chairs 
in  the  bow  window."  It  was  the  spot  where  questions  "~ 
of  etiquette  were  settled ;  where  reputations  were  made 
or  marred ;  where  the  social  life  of  London  was  placed 
under  the  microscope  and  studied  ;  where  characters  were 
laid  on  the  operating-table  and  dissected.  Like  Almack's, 
it  became  a  tribunal  as  redoubtable  as  was  ever  erected 
under  the  Venetian  Republic  or  the  Inquisition  of  Spain. 
A  few  more  dates  bring  us  to  our  own  times.  In  1813 
the  first  Candidates'  Book  was  opened ;  six  years  later 
Mackreth  (become  Sir  Robert)  died,  and  with  him,  to 
some  extent,  died  the  older  traditions  of  the  club.  In  1833 
excessive  blackballing,  which  threatened  to  dislocate  the 
institution  altogether,  led  to  a  committee  being  appointed 
to  take  over  the  election  of  members  for  a  period  of  one 
year.  Under  Raggett  the  club 's  fortunes  continued,  after 
this  event,  to  be  prosperous.  In  1843  he  made  his  son 
Henry  manager,  and  on  his  death  in  the  following  year 
Henry  Raggett  was  duly  confirmed  in  the  position.  Six 
years  later  Raggett  found  it  necessary  to  suggest  a  change 
in  the  management — apparently  owing  to  the  large  amount 
of  credit  he  was,  following  earlier  custom,  called  upon  to 
find — but  matters  having  been  adjusted  in  this  respect  by 
the  committee,  he  continued  in  his  post  till  his  death  in 
1859,  when  there  came  to  a  close  that  system  of  manage- 
ment which  carried  with  it  the  proprietorship  of  the  club 
premises.  The  property  now  passed  to  Raggett's  sisters, 
who,  searching  for  a  manager,  found  one  in  Mr  Perceval, 
and  in  June  1859  that  gentleman  took  up  his  duties  at 
White's.  It  was  under  his  regime  that  the  great  smoke 
question  arose.  Full  details  are  given  in  The  History 
of  White's  of  this  momentous  event — really  momentous, 
because  it  ranged  the  members  into  separate  camps,  and 
was  the  initial  cause  of  the  formation,  under  the  aegis  of 
the  late  King  Edward,  of  the  Marlborough  Club,  which 


undoubtedly  drew  from  White's  many  who  would  have 
added  to  its  lustre  and  advantage.  The  struggle  lasted 
from  1859  to  1866,  and  ended  in  the  discomfiture  of  the 
"new  school."  In  1868  a  proposal  was  made  to  purchase 
the  club  premises  from  the  Misses  Raggett,  but  as  the 
estate  was  in  Chancery  the  scheme  came  to  nothing.  In 
1870,  however,  circumstances  had  altered,  and  the  owners 
were  prepared  to  accept  £60,000  for  the  freehold,  but  such 
a  sum  was  not  acceptable  to  the  club.1 

In  1876  the  membership  of  White's,  which  had  been 
previously  increased  at  various  times,  was  raised  to  six 
hundred,  and  five  years  later  Mr  Perceval  obtained  from 
Mr  Eaton  a  lease  of  thirty  years,  at  £3000.  In  the  follow- 
ing year  Perceval  died,  to  be  succeeded  for  six  years 
by  his  son  who  carried  on  the  premises  on  behalf  of  his 
mother.  His  management  was  not  a  marked  success,  and 
during  this  time  the  membership  showed  a  great  falling 

In  July  1888,  on  the  management  of  Perceval  coming 
to  an  end,  that  post  was  taken  up  by  the  Hon.  Algernon 
Bourke.  With  him  drastic  changes,  both  in  the  con- 
stitution and  the  premises  of  the  club,  took  place.  The 
building  was  reconstructed,  with  great  advantage  both 
to  the  ground  and  first  floor.  A  lounge  was  created, 
the  existing  small  billiard-room  and  other  rooms  were 
knocked  into  one,  forming  a  large  billiard-room,  and  other 
improvements  were  made. 

The  result  of  the  innovations,  both  in  the  constitution 
and  building  of  White's,2  has  resulted  in  its  once  again 

1  Perceval  held  an  unexpired  lease  of  ten  years,  at  a  rental  of 
£2100.     In  1871  the  property  was  offered  by  auction,  and  was 
purchased  by  Mr  Eaton,  M.P.   (afterwards   Lord  Cheylesmore), 
for  ^46,000,    and   he   refused   to    sell,    although   he   offered    to 
lease  the  club  to  the  committee  for  twenty  years  at  a  rental  of 


2  Its  membership  is  now  seven  hundred  and  fifty. 



occupying  that  unique  position  which  it  held  during  the 
palmy  days  of  the  last  two  centuries. 

What  the  present  club-house  looked  like  in  its  earlier 
form  may  be  seen  from  a  view  which  shows  its  appear- 
ance till  the  year  1811,  when  many  changes,  including  the 
introduction  of  the  "Bow  Window,"  were  made.  In  - 
1850  the  fa9ade  was  entirely  remodelled  after  designs 
by  Mr  Lockyer,  the  bas-reliefs  which  ornament  it  being 
the  work  of  George  Scharf,  and  the  old  balcony  replaced 
by  the  present  more  elaborate  ironwork.1  At  this  time 
much  interior  decoration  was  also  carried  out. 

Having  thus  briefly  outlined  the  history  of  "White's," 
I  pass  for  a  moment  to  the  references  to  it  which  will  be 
found  in  contemporary  literature.  In  Farquhar's  Beauas's 
Stratagem  (1707)  it  is  referred  to,  and  in  Gay's  Trivia 
the  observant  author  notes  that : 

"At  White's  the  harnessed  chairman  idly  stands, 
And  swings  around  his  waist  his  tingling  hands." 

In  The  Tatter' 's  initial  number,  which  appeared  in  1709, 
it  is  stated  that  "  all  accounts  of  gallantry,  pleasure  and 
entertainment  shall  be  under  the  article  of  White's 
Chocolate  House,"  and  several  of  the  papers  bear  the 
superscription  of  "White's."  Addison,  in  his  Prologue  to 
Steele's  Tender  Husband,  introduces  the  place  thus  : 

"To  all  his  most  frequented  haunts  resort, 
Oft  dog  him  to  the  Ring,  and  oft  to  Court ; 
As  love  of  pleasure,  or  of  place  invites  : 
And  sometimes  catch  him  taking  snuff  at  White's." 

1  M.  Boutet  de  Monvel  is  not  correct  when  he  says  that  "on  y 
voit  toujours  le  balcon  fameux  oh  tour  a  tour  vinrent  s'accouder 
Wellington,  Brummell,  et  les  dandies.''  By  the  by,  he  quotes  Sir 
William  Fraser,  who  records  (in  his  Napoleon  III.)  Disraeli  as 
saying  that  to  obtain  the  Garter  and  to  be  elected  at  White's 
were  the  two  supreme  human  distinctions. 

George  Brummell  et  George  I V. 



Pope  has  several  references  to  White's,  both  in  The 
Dunciad  and  The  Moral  Essays.  In  the  former,  satirising 
Colley  Gibber,  one  of  the  members,  he  writes  : 

"  Or  chain 'd  at  White's  among  the  Doctors  sit, 
Teach  oaths  to  gamesters,  and  to  nobles  wit. " 

And  also : 

"  Familiar  White's  God  save,  King  Colley  cries, 
God  save  King  Colley,  Drury  Lane  replies." 

There  is  no  doubt  that  Gibber's  membership  rather 
rankled  in  the  breasts  of  less  fortunate  authors,  and  Pope 
was  not  a  man  to  let  slip  an  opportunity  of  laughing  at 
what  was  regarded  as  a  certain  pretentiousness.  In  The 
Moral  Essays  it  is  the  high  play  at  the  club  that  rouses 
the  poet's  ire  and  points  his  pen  with  the  venom  which 
ran  to  its  tip  so  easily.  Speaking  of  The  Dunciad  reminds 
me  that  one  of  those  who  fell  under  Pope's  lash  was  Old- 
mixon,  and  Oldmixon  is  one  of  the  writers  who  mentions 
"White's,"  for  he  tells  in  his  Life  of  Arthur  Mayntvaring 
how  they  retired  to  the  little  garden  behind  the  house, 
in  1710,  to  discuss  the  question  of  the  authorship  of  The 

In  the  correspondence  of  the  period — that  of  Swift  and 
Walpole,  Selwyn  and  his  friends — the  allusions  to  White's 
are  so  numerous  that  a  chapter  might  easily  be  filled  with 
extracts.  The  diaries  of  the  time  are  hardly  less  pro- 
ductive. Most  of  these  contain  information  about  gaming 
losses,  references  to  that  remarkable  betting-book  which 
Mr  Bourke  has  reprinted  in  his  second  volume  of  the 
club's  annals,  and  criticisms  on  the  ways  (often  wonderful 
and  fearful)  of  the  members. 

"Had  I  whole  counties,  I  to  White's  would  go, 
And  set  land,  woods,  and  rivers  at  a  throw," 

exclaims  Bramston's  Man  of  Taste,  and  this  might  well  be 



taken  as  the  motto  of  a  chapter  on  gambling  at  the  club. 
The  hazard  table  was  as  crowded  there  as  it  was  at 
Brooks 's  ;  men  lost  and  won  fortunes  at  a  sitting  ;  many 
of  the  most  interesting  letters  in  the  Selwyn  papers  are 
sad  records  of  the  vast  losses  incurred  by  young  Lord 
Carlisle  in  what  he  termed  "the  temple  of  Content."1 
From  the  days  of  Fox  and  the  politicians  to  that  of 
Brummell  and  the  dandies  was  one  long  sequence  of  high 
play  and  losses  and  gains,  appalling  even  to  our  own  age, 
accustomed  to  talk  and  think  in  millions.  When  Walpole 
and  Selwyn  and  Gilly  Williams,  in  the  Gothic  recesses 
of  Strawberry  Hill,  composed  theiryfamous  coat-of-arms 
for  the  club,  thejeu  d'esprit  might  well  have  been  regarded 
as  a  serious  emblem  of  the  place — as  serious  as  the  gaming 
was  considered  by  men  who  were  not  only  leaders  of  social 
life,  but  were  paramount  in  political  circles.2  The  wagers, 
with  which  the  members  occupied  apparently  the  scanty 
leisure  snatched  from  the  card  tables,  were  of  the  most 
diverse  and  often  of  the  most  extraordinary  character. 
The  probable  longevity  of  a  famous  man ;  the  possible 
matrimonial  alliance  of  a  beautiful  woman  ;  the  period  at 
which  a  lady  of  fashion  was  likely  to  present  her  husband 
with  an  heir ;  the  chance  of  one  man  outliving  another, 
or  of  some  third  party  surviving  both  ;  the  probability 
of  military  successes,  or  of  a  well-known  man  subscribing 
to  a  young  lady's  benefit ;  possibilities  of  engagements, 

1  Letter  to  Selwyn,  24th  January  1768. 

2  It  is  thus  described :    "  Vert  (for  card  table)  between  two 
parolis  proper  on  a  chevron  table ;  (for  hazard  table)  two  rouleaus 
in  saltire  between  two  dice  proper  in  a  canton  sable  ;  a  white  ball 
(for  election)  argent.     Supporters  :   an  old  knave  of  Clubs  on  the 
dexter,  a  young  knave  on  the  sinister,  side,  both  accoutred  proper. 
Crest :  issuing  out  of  an  Earl's  coronet ;  (Lord  Darlington),  an  arm 
shaking  a  dice  box,  all  proper.     Motto  (alluding  to  the  crest) : 
Cogit  amor  mimmi.    The  arms  encircled  by  a  claret  bottle  ticket 
by  way  of  order." 



elopements,  marriages,  deaths,  jostle  wagers  on  grave 
political  or  military  and  naval  crises  ;  from  a  change  in 
the  Ministry  to  a  change  in  the  fashion  of  a  frill — nothing 
seems  to  have  been  too  important  or  too  trivial  to  give 
the  opportunity  for  members  to  try  to  win,  or  risk  losing, 

How  many  men  gave  up  to  hazard  what  was  meant  for 
mankind  can  be  estimated  by  even  a  slight  glance  through 
the  list  of  White's  members.  Anyone  acquainted,  even 
superficially,  with  the  social  and  political  history  of  the 
eighteenth  and  early  nineteenth  centuries,  may  take  it  as 
a  fact  that  practically  all  the  protagonists  were  at  one 
time  or  another  members  of  White's.  Page  after  page 
might  be  filled  with  their  illustrious  or  notorious  names. 
The  range  is  tremendous — from  Walpole  and  Bath  to 
Pitt  and  Fox;  from  Wellington  and  Castlereagh  to 
Melbourne  and  Palmerston ;  all  the  great  political  leaders 
— the  Portlands,  the  Bedfords,  the  Devonshires — are  in- 
cluded; Horace  Walpole  and  his  set — Selwyn  and  Gilly 
Williams,  and  Coventry,  and  "Old  Q." — to  Brummell 
and  his — the  Prince  of  Wales  and  Sheridan  and  the  rest ; 
Heidegger  the  impresario  and  Bubb  Dodington  the 
sycophant;  Colley  Gibber  the  actor  and  Lord  Clive 
the  great  proconsul ;  Alvanley  the  wit ;  Brettingham  the 
architect  of  other  people's  houses,  and  Addington  the 
founder  of  his  own ;  Sefton  the  gourmet,  and  Lord 
Chesterfield  the  glass  of  fashion;  Luttrell,  noted  for  his 
retorts,  and  Congreve,  famous  for  his  rockets.  Here  is  but 
a  handful,  taken  at  random,  as  a  sample,  so  to  speak,  of 
that  crowd  of  illustrious  ones  whose  feet  have  trod,  and 
whose  voices  have  echoed  in,  the  rooms  of  White's  club. 
There  is  hardly  a  spot  in  St  James's  Street  which  is  not 
consecrated  by  some  memory  ;  here  memory  on  memory 
is  accumulated  in  inexhaustible  profusion. 

The  stories  and  anecdotes  told  of  the  club   and  its 



members  are  hardly  less  bewildering  in  their  number  and 
variety.  Walpole  tells  many  of  his  diverting  narratives 
as  having  had  their  origin  here ;  Selwyn's  correspondents 
add  their  quota.  These  tales  have  become  hackneyed 
by  much  quotation,  and  to  give  further  currency  to  them 
would  be  in  the  nature  of  padding.  The  reviewer,  who 
would  be  the  first  to  deprecate  the  act,  would  also  be  the 
first  to  fill  his  review  with  the  anecdotes.  But  he  must  find 
other  means  of  judging  this  work  than  by  the  exploitation 
of  such  samples,  for  I  utterly  refuse  to  dish  them  up  again. 

One  or  two  circumstances  connected  with  White's  must, 
however,  be  added  to  the  above  short  account  of  it. 
In  the  first  place,  it  has  been  on  various  occasions  con- 
nected with  some  notable  festivities.  In  1789  its  members 
gave  a  great  ball  at  The  Pantheon  to  celebrate  the  recovery 
of  George  III.  ;  and  in  1814  a  still  more  elaborate  fete  \ 
to  the  Allied  Sovereigns  at  Burlington  House,  which  is 
said  to  have  cost  just  on  £10,000  ;  the  bill  for  the  dinner 
to  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  in  the  club  itself,  at  the  same 
time,  ran  to  nearly  £2500.  These  are  among  the  more 
memorable  entertainments  given  by  White's. 

Again,  although  its  members  numbered  among  them 
so  many  illustrious  people,  there  have  been  a  few  rather 
notable  exceptions.  Prince  Louis  Napoleon  (afterwards 
Napoleon  III.),  although  so  intimately  associated  at  one 
time  with  English  society,  was  never  a  member ;  neither 
was  Count  D'Orsay,  whose  profile  pictures  of  so  many 
members  find  a  place  in  Mr  Bourke's  book  ;  nor  was  the 
great  Lord  Lytton.  But  the  strangest  omission  is  surely 
that  of  Disraeli,  the  shield  and  buckler  of  the  party  chiefly 
identified  with  White's,  whose  name  does  not  appear  in 
that  comprehensive  list,  and  whose  strange  rather  mystical 
visage  never  gazed  from  the  Heavenly  Bow.1 

1  See  LuttrelTs  Advice  to  Julia,  1820,  p.  117.  In  a  note  the  fact 
is  mentioned  that  the  bow  window  had  then  recently  been  enlarged. 


THE   CLUBS— continued 


IN  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne  one  of  the  many  chocolate- 
houses  which  were  then  established  in  London  was 
called  The  Cocoa-Tree,  and  was  opened  on  the  west  side 
of  St  James's  Street.  Like  most  of  its  competitors  it  was 
political,  and  the  side  it  took  is  illustrated  by  Macky's1 
remark  that,  "  A  Whig  will  no  more  go  to  The  Cocoa-Tree 
or  Ozinda's  than  a  Tory  will  be  seen  at  the  coffee-house 
of  St  James's."  On  his  own  showing,  Addison  was  not 
so  restrictive  in  his  haunts,  and  in  No.  1  of  The  Spectator, 
remarks  that  his  face  was  as  well  known  at  The  Cocoa-Tree 
as  it  was  at  The  Grecian  or  the  St  James's  coffee-house. 
Whether  or  not  The  Cocoa-Tree  was,  as  a  chocolate-house, 
solely  patronised  by  Tories  is  a  question ;  but  it  is  certainly 
the  case  that  when  it  was  transformed  into  a  club  it  became 
almost,  if  not  quite,  exclusively  the  headquarters  of  the 
Jacobites.  Its  metamorphosis  took  place  during  the 
early  half  of  the  eighteenth  century — 1746  having  been 
given  as  its  approximate  date.  An  anecdote  recorded  by 
Walpole  in  a  letter  to  George  Montagu,  dated  24th  June 
of  this  year,  relates  that  "The  Duke  (of  Cumberland) 
has  given  Brigadier  Mordaunt  the  Pretender's  coach,  on 
condition  he  rode  up  to  London  in  it."  "That  I  will, 
sir,"  said  he,  "  and  drive  till  it  stops  of  its  own  accord  at 
The  Cocoa-Tree."  This  further  illustrates  the  political 
complexion  of  the  club. 

1  Journey  through  England,  1724. 


Among  the  many  illustrious  frequenters  of  The  Cocoa- 
Tree  tavern  was  Swift,  who  seems  to  have  made  it  a  rule 
to  go  there  directly  he  arrived  in  England ;  at  least  this 
assumption  may,  I  think,  be  drawn  from  the  following 
passage  in  a  letter  addressed  to  him  by  Prior,  also  a  regular 
habitue,  in  1717  : — "  I  have  been  made  to  believe  that  we 
may  see  your  reverend  person  this  summer  in  England. 
If  so,  I  shall  be  glad  to  meet  you  at  any  place  ;  but  when 
you  come  to  London  do  not  go  to  The  Cocoa-Tree,  but 
come  immediately  to  Duke  Street,1  where  you  shall  find 
a  bed,  a  book,  and  a  candle."  Two  other  frequenters  of 
the  tavern  were  Dr  (afterwards  Sir  Richard)  Garth,  the 
physician-poet,  and  Nicholas  Rowe,  the  dramatist,  and 
an  anecdote  has  survived  concerning  these  two  at  what 
was  a  veritable  wits'  tavern. 

Dr  Garth  was  on  one  occasion  sitting  in  the  coffee-room, 
talking  to  two  "persons  of  quality,"  when  Rowe,  who  was 
as  attentive  to  the  great  as  he  was  inattentive  to  his  dress, 
entered.  Sitting  down  in  a  box  opposite  that  occupied 
by  the  Doctor  and  his  friends,  he  began  to  try  to  catch  his 
brother  poet's  eye,  as  the  saying  is.  Not  being  successful, 
he  at  length  asked  the  waiter  to  desire  for  him  the  loan 
of  Garth's  snuff-box,  a  very  handsome  one,  and  the  gift 
of  a  royal  person.  Taking  a  pinch  from  it  he  returned  it, 
but  a  little  later  asked  for  it  again — the  object,  of  course, 
being  to  attract  attention,  and  to  show  the  others  present 
that  he  was  also  acquainted  with  its  owner.  Garth,  who 
knew  his  foible  and  saw  through  the  manoeuvre,  took  a 
pencil  and  wrote  on  the  lid  the  »two  Greek  characters 
</>  and  p — "Fie!  Rowe!"  The  mortified  poet  took  the 
hint,  and  soon  after  retired  in  dudgeon. 

There  is  another  well-known  story  connected  with  this 

club.    One  of  the  waiters,  named  Samuel  Spring,  having 

to  write  to  the  Prince  of  Wales  (afterwards  George  IV.), 

1  Afterwards  Delahay  Street,  Westminster. 



began  his  epistle  thus :  "  Sam,  the  waiter  at  The 
Cocoa-Tree,  presents  his  compliments  to  the  Prince  of 
Wales,  etc. "  The  next  day  the  Prince  called  at  the  club 
and  said  to  Sam  :  "  Sam,  this  may  be  very  well  between 
you  and  me,  but  it  will  not  do  with  the  Norfolks  and 

The  importance  of  The  Cocoa-Tree  as  a  chocolate-house 
is  indicated  by  the  fact  that  Defoe  mentions  it  first  in  a 
list  of  such  haunts  where,  in  1703,  the  members  of  the 
beau  monde  were  wont  to  assemble  in  the  morning  to 
drink  their  favourite  beverages  and  exchange  the  news. 

After  its  conversion  into  a  club  it  seems  to  have  fully 
sustained  its  earlier  fashionable  and  political  reputation, 
and  when  Lord  Bute  came  into  power,  in  1761,  it  was  then 
generally  regarded  as  the  "Ministerial  Club."  One  of 
its  members  was  no  less  a  person  than  Gibbon,  and  an 
entry  in  his  diary  for  1762  contains  this  allusion  to  the 
place : 

'  *  I  dined  at  The  Cocoa-Tree  with  Holt.  We  went  thence 
to  the  play,  and  when  it  was  over  returned  to  The  Cocoa- 
Tree.  That  respectable  body,  of  which  I  have  the  honour 
of  being  a  member,  affords  every  evening  a  sight  truly 
English — twenty  or  thirty  perhaps  of  the  finest  men  in 
the  kingdom,  in  point  of  fashion  and  fortune,  supping 
at  little  tables  covered  with  a  napkin,  in  the  middle  of 
a  coffee-house,  upon  a  bit  of  cold  meat  and  a  sandwich, 
and  drinking  a  glass  of  punch.  At  present  we  are  full 
of  King's  Counsellors  and  lords  of  the  bed-chamber,  who, 
having  jumped  into  the  Ministry,  make  a  very  singular 
medley  'of  their  old  principles  and  languages  with  their 
modern  ones." 

It  can  well  be  imagined  at  such  a  time  when  bribery 
was  rampant,  and  men  were  bought  and  sold  with  a 
venality  recalling  Sir  Robert  Walpole's  famous  phrase, 
that  the  clubs  and  coffee-houses  were  the  centres  of  this 



kind  of  traffic,  and  that  The  Cocoa-Tree,  from  its  fashionable 
and  political  character,  was  one  of  the  hotbeds  of  this  form 
of  marketing.  In  the  Chatham  correspondence  a  thinly 
veiled  allusion  to  it  can  be  detected  in  the  following 
passage: — "The  Cocoa-Tree  have  thus  capacitated  Her 
Royal  Highness  (the  Princess-Dowager  of  Wales)  to  be 
Regent :  it  is  well  they  have  not  given  us  a  king,  if 
they  have  not ;  for  many  think  Lord  Bute  is  King. " 

After  a  time  high  play  was  a  feature  of  The  Cocoa-Tree, 
as  it  was  of  so  many  of  the  eighteenth-  and  early  nineteenth- 
century  clubs.  That  this  was  a  legacy  from  their  earlier 
form  as  coffee-houses  is  proved  by  the  remark  of  Roger 
North  that :  "  The  use  of  coffee-houses  seems  much  im- 
proved by  a  new  invention  called  chocolate-houses,  for 
the  benefit  of  rooks  and  cullies  of  quality,  where  gaming 
is  added  to  all  the  rest ;  as  if  the  devil  had  erected  a  new 
university,  and  those  were  the  colleges  of  its  professors, 
as  well  as  his  school  of  discipline. " 

In  the  pages  of  Walpole  and  other  contemporary  writers 
are  various  references  to  the  high  play  that  took  place  at 
The  Cocoa-Tree.  The  following  anecdote,  given  in  a 
letter  from  Walpole  to  Mann,  and  dated  8th  February 
1780,  is  well  known,  but  will  bear  repeating : — 

"  Within  this  week  there  has  been  a  cast  at  hazard  at 
The  Cocoa-Tree,  the  difference  of  which  amounted  to  one 
hundred  and  fourscore  thousand  pounds.  Mr  O'Birne, 
an  Irish  gamester,  had  won  one  hundred  thousand 
pounds  of  Mr  Harvey  of  Chigwell  just  started  into  an 
estate  by  his  elder  brother's  death.  O'Birne  said  :  '  You 
can  never  pay  me.'  'I  can,'  said  the  youth,  'my  estate 
will  sell  for  the  debt.'  'No,'  said  O.,  'I  will  win  ten 
thousand — you  shall  throw  for  the  odd  ninety.'  They 
did,  and  Harvey  won."  Ten  years  earlier  Walpole 
records  how  "Lord  Stavordale,  not  one  and  twenty, 
lost  (at  The  Cocoa-Tree)  eleven  thousand  last  Tuesday, 



but  recovered  it  by  one  great  hand  at  hazard.  He  swore 
a  great  oath  :  '  Now,  if  I  had  been  playing  deep,  I  might 
have  won  millions. ' ' 

In  those  days  Selwyn  was  a  constant  habitue  of  the  club, 
and  here  he  uttered  not  a  few  of  those  apt  retorts  with 
which  he  was  able  to  confound  his  adversaries,  and  also 
to  show  that  there  was  a  shrewd  and  able  mind  beneath 
the  insouciant  manner  of  a  man  of  ton.  Another  fre- 
quenter was  the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  the  "jockey,"  familiar 
to  readers  of  Creevey  and  other  contemporary  diarists ;  and 
it  was  at  The  Cocoa-tree,  in  1783,  that  he  remarked  that  it 
had  been  his  intention  to  commemorate  the  tercentenary 
of  his  dukedom  by  inviting  to  a  feast  all  the  descendants 
of  the  first  duke,  but  that  he  found  that  nearly  six 
thousand  persons  claimed  that  honour,  and  that  he  felt 
sure  more  existed,  and  so  gave  up  his  design.  Here,  too, 
it  was  that  Dunning  and  Dr  Brocklesby  were  one  evening 
discussing  the  superfluities  of  life,  when  Selwyn  silenced 
the  argument  by  its  application  ad  hominem  thus : 
"Very  true,  gentlemen;  I  am  myself  an  example  of  the 
justice  of  your  reanlrks,  for  I  have  lived  nearly  all  my 
life  without  wanting  either  a  lawyer  or  a  physician." 

When,  in  1803,  Sheridan  resisted  the  claims  of  the  Prince 
of  Wales  to  be  nominated  to  a  high  military  command  it 
was  supposed  that  the  Prince's  enmity  would  have  been 
of  considerable  duration.  Fox's  astonishment  may  there- 
fore well  be  imagined  when  he  heard  that  the  two  were 
dining  and  "getting  drunk  tete-d-tete  " at  the  very  moment 
when  he  was  writing  his  letter  to  the  Heir-Apparent  on  the 
subject.  The  scene  of  the  dinner  was  The  Cocoa-Tree,  as 
is  stated  by  Russell  in  his  Memorials  of  Fox.1 

One  of  the  club's  most  illustrious  later  members  was 
Byron,  and  among  the  references  to  it  in  his  letters  I  give 
the  following  as  a  sample  of  the  manners  and  customs  of  a 

1  Quoted  in  Jesse's  George  III.,  vol.  Hi.,  p.  334. 


hundred  years  ago.  Addressed  to  Moore  and  dated  9th 
April  1814  the  letter  contains  this  passage : 

"I  have  also  been  drinking,  and  on  one  occasion,  with 
three  other  friends  of  The  Cocoa-Tree,  from  six  till  four, 
yea,  five  in  the  matin.  We  clareted  and  champagned  till 
two,  then  supped,  and  finished  with  a  kind  of  Regency 
punch,  composed  of  Madeira,  brandy  and  green  tea,  no 
real  water  being  admitted  therein.  There  was  a  night 
for  you !  without  once  quitting  the  table,  except  to  am- 
bulate home,  which  I  did  alone,  and  in  utter  contempt 
of  a  hackney  coach  and  my  own  vis,  both  of  which  were 
deemed  necessary  for  our  conveyance." 

The  head  waiter  at  The  Cocoa-Tree  was  Robert  Mac- 
raith  (or  Mackreth),  who  was  a  persona  grata  with  the 
members  and  was  invariably  called  Bob.  He  prospered 
exceedingly,  and  afterwards,  through  marriage  with 
Arthur's  only  child,  became,  as  we  have  seen,  connected 
with  the  future  of  White's. 

One  must  not  forget  that  it  was  at  The  Cocoa-Tree  that 
Harry  Esmond  cracked  his  bottle  with  Mr  St  John,  as  he 
told  the  Dowager  Lady  Castlewood  on  one  occasion.1 

The  next  club  in  point  of  date  is  : 


Its  well-known  Adam  front,  the  most  interesting  archi- 
tectural object  in  St  James's  Street,  is  situated  at  No.  28. 
It  was  formed  in  1762,  and  was  originally  known  as  the 
"Savoir  Vivre,"  but  later,  like  White's  and  Brooks 's, 
took  the  name  of  its  founder.  The  present  club-house 
was  built  by  John  Crunden  in  1765,  and  Robert  Adam 
designed  it.  Between  1821  and  1824,  however,  alterations, 

1  In  December  1919  a  portion  of  The  Cocoa-Tree  Club,  together 
with  stables  and  garages  abutting  on  Blue  Ball  Yard,  was  offered 
by  auction. 

including  the  addition  of  a  reading-room,  were  made 
to  the  building,  under  the^tlirection  of  John  Papworth, 
the  architect.1 

During  the  early  part  of  its  existence  Boodle's  was 
notable  for  the  elaborate  nature  of  its  entertainments,  and 
Gibbon,  who  was  one  of  its  illustrious  members,  mentions 
a  masquerade  given  by  its  members  in  1774  which  cost  no 
less  than  two  thousand  guineas.  The  Heroic  Epistle  to 
Sir  William  Chambers,  published  in  the  previous  year, 
also  contains  some  lines  bearing  on  the  subject,  and  notes 

"...  Some  John  his  dull  invention  racks 
To  rival  Boodle's  dinners  or  Almack's." 

Under  its  earlier  name  the  club  is  also  mentioned  in  the 
lampoon  addressed  to  the  Duke  of  Queensberry,  when 
that  old  rake  was  supposed  to  be  on  the  point  of  marrying 
Lady  Henrietta  Stanhope: 

"Consult  the  equestrian  bard,wise  Chiron  Beever, 

Or  Dr  Heber's  learned  Sybil  leaves, 
And  they,  true  members  of  the  Savoir  Vivre, 
Will  tell  the  wondrous  things  that  love  receives." 

The  date  of  the  letter  to  which  the  above  is  appended 
as  a  footnote  in  Jesse's  Selwyn  and  his  Contemporaries,  is 
1780.  Just  ten  years  earlier  an  interesting  passage  in  one 
of  Mrs  Harris's  letters  to  her  son,  the  Earl  of  Malmesbury, 
gives  us  another  glimpse  of  the  club,  and  incidentally  goes 
to  show  that  its  name  of  Savoir  Vivre  was  probably  given 
it  in  addition  to  that  of  Boodle's,  as  we  here  find  the  club 
referred  to  so  soon  after  its  formation  under  the  latter 

1  Timbs  says  that  Holland  designed  the  club-house,  but  this 
is  obviously  incorrect.  Holland  may,  conceivably,  have  been 
employed  at  some  time  to  alter  it. 



"  12th  May  1770.  A  new  assembly  or  meeting  is  set  up 
at  Boodle's,  called  Lloyd's  Coffee-room  ;  Miss  Lloyd,  whom 
you  have  seen  with  Lady  Pembroke,  being  the  sole  in- 
ventor. They  meet  every  morning,  either  to  play  cards, 
chat,  or  do  whatever  else  they  please.  An  ordinary  is 
provided  for  as  many  as  choose  to  dine,  and  a  supper  to 
be  constantly  on  the  table  by  eleven  at  night ;  after  supper 
they  play  loo.  ...  I  think  there  are  twenty-six  sub- 
scribers, others  are  to  be  chosen  by  ballot ;  my  intelli- 
gence is  that  the  Duchess  of  Bedford  and  Lord  March 
have  been  blackballed  ;  this  I  cannot  account  for." 

Boodle's  was  regarded  as  essentially  the  country  gentle- 
man's club  at  a  time  when  that  section  of  society  wielded 
no  little  political  power,  and  there  was  a  saying  current 
that  "  Every  Sir  John  belongs  to  Boodle's,  and  that  when 
a  waiter  comes  into  the  room  and  says  to  some  aged 
student  of  The  Morning  Herald,  '  Sir  John,  your  servant 
has  come,'  every  head  is  mechanically  thrown  up  in 
answer  to  the  address."  It  would  seem,  too,  that  Shrop- 
shire is  a  county  which  has  provided  it  with  a  particularly 
large  number  of  its  members.  But  it  has  had  many  who 
cannot  boast  of  being  Salopians — Charles  James  Fox  and 
Gibbon  and  Wilberforoe,  inter  olios.  Sir  Frank  Standish 
was  also  a  member,  and  has  been  immortalised  by  Gillray 
(who  lived  next  door  to  the  club-house,  at  No.  29)  in  his 
caricature  entitled  A  Standing  Dish  at  Boodle's. 

For  many  years  the  proprietor  was  Mr  Gaynor,  an 
amiable,  large-hearted,  open-handed  man,  to  whom  not  a 
few  members  were  indebted  for  financial  assistance.  He 
always  kept  a  large  amount  of  cash  in  his  safe,  and  at  his 
death  is  said  to  have  been  owed  no  less  than  £10,000, 
which,  however,  by  a  clause  in  his  will,  was  not  to  be  de- 
manded from  the  borrowers.  Mr  Gaynor  used  to  preside 
personally  over  the  election  of  candidates,  and  apparently 
anyone  whom  he  approved  got  in,  regardless  of  blackballs. 

K  145 


In  a  word,  he  seems  to  have  ruled  his  society  with  an 
autocratic  but  withal  just  and  discriminating  sway ;  and 
when  the  mysterious  "  By  order  of  the  Managers  "  occa- 
sionally appeared  beneath  some  rule  on  the  notice-board, 
"the  custom  of  the  house  existing  from  time  immemorial," 
was  implicitly  bowed  down  to  by  those  who  would  have 
been  hard  put  to  it  to  say  who  the  managers  actually  were, 
or  by  what  rules  their  powers  existed.  In  this  respect 
Boodle's  was  sui  generis.  Once,  however,  defection  took 
place  when,  because  of  a  determination  on  Mr  Gaynor's 
part  to  change  an  old-standing  custom,  the  late  Duke  of 
Beaufort  and  other  influential  members  of  the  old  school 
resigned  in  a  body. 

After  Mr  Gaynor's  death  his  sister  succeeded  him  in  the 
proprietorship.  She  died  in  1896,  and  a  crisis  thereupon 
arose  in  the  club's  history.  However,  by  the  united 
exertions  of  certain  of  its  members  it  was  reconstituted  on 
more  modern  lines,  and  bids  fair  to  have  a  future  existence 
comparable  with  its  lengthy  successful  career  in  the  past. 
At  one  time  hunting  and  turf  disputes  were  largely  settled 
here,  but  Tattersall's  has  taken  its  place  in  such  arbitra- 
tions. But  it  still  remains  the  club  of  M.F.H.'s,  and  the 
memory  of  such  a  prominent  one  as  George  Lane  Fox  is  as 
green  here  as  is  that  of  the  easy-going  Charles  James  Fox  l 
or  the  dignified  Mr  Gibbon. 


The  history  of  Brooks 's  is  the  political  history  of  the 
country,  from  one  point  of  view,  during  the  latter  half  of 
the  eighteenth  century  onwards,  or  until  the  essentially 
party  clubs  in  Pall  Mall  to  some  extent  took  over  the 
burden.  A  volume  might  be  written  on  the  club  as  a 
centre  of  Whiggism  and  Liberalism.  In  such  a  history 
1  There  used  to  be  a  portrait  of  Fox  here,  but  it  has  disappeared. 



the  great  names  of  Fox  and  Sheridan  would  stand  out 
prominently,  even  among  the  crowd  of  illustrious  states- 
men who  have  belonged  to  Brooks 's,  and  whose  political 
activities  have  been  so  closely  identified  with  the  club  as 
to  place  it  in  the  position  of  a  handmaid  to  one  side  of  the 
House  of  Commons.  It  is  because  the  annals  of  Brooks's 
are  so  interwoven  with  those  of  the  country  during  the 
period  indicated  that  it  enters  into  the  history  of  our 
land  more  intimately  than  does  any  other  similar  society. 
Sir  George  Trevelyan  does  not  overstate  the  fact  when  he 
calls  it  "the  most  famous  political  club  that  will  ever  have 
existed  in  England  "* ;  and  although  its  origin,  like  that  of 
most  of  the  earlier  clubs,  was  not  political  (as  we  can  see  by 
the  collocation,  as  members,  of  such  men  as  the  Duke  of 
Grafton  and  the  Duke  of  Richmond,  Lord  Weymouth  and 
the  Duke  of  Portland),  it  speedily  became  the  headquarters 
of  Liberal  opinion.  But  it  must  not  be  supposed  that 
this  made  any  difference  to  its  character  as  a  gaming 
place.  On  the  contrary,  the  politician,  jaded  with  parlia- 
mentary labours,  came  here  to  be  equally  jaded  by  the  ex- 
citement of  gambling ;  and  it  may  with  truth  be  asserted 
that  (to  take  a  notable  instance)  what  Fox  gave  to  the 
club  by  his  personality  and  his  genius  he  lost  there  in  the 
feverish  exaltations  of  the  faro  table.  That  great  man, 
whose  very  failings  were  on  the  stupendous  scale  of  his 
intellect,  may  be  said  (so  to  parody  a  well-known  line)  to 
have  given  to  Brooks's  what  was  meant  for  mankind. 
The  story  of  his  vast  losses  (his  gains  at  hazard  were  as 
inconsiderable  as  they  might  have  been  great  had  he  kept 
to  whist  or  any  other  game  where  brains  tell)  is  well 
known  ;  the  diaries  and  reminiscences  of  the  period  teem 
with  allusions  to,  and  full  descriptions  of,  them.  In  an  age 
of  gaming  he  stood  out  prominently,  just  as  in  an  age  of 
notable  men  he  was  facile  princeps.  Had  his  passions  been 

1  The  Early  History  of  Charles  James  Fox. 

as  well  under  control  as  were  (to  instance  his  greatest 
compeer)  those  of  Pitt,  he  might  have  even  surpassed 
that  extraordinary  man,  and  would  assuredly  have  come 
to  be  regarded  as  the  greatest  political  genius  produced 
by  that  teeming  century.  As  it  was,  he  may  be  compared, 
mutatis  mutandis,  with  Coleridge,  for  genius  stultified  by 
self-indulgence,  and  for  almost  divine  gifts  thrown  away 
through  a  fatal  lack  of  concentrative  power. 

Not  less  than  this  could  here  be  said  of  the  most 
illustrious  member  of  the  club  which  is  known  as  Brooks 's  ; 
but  it  is  the  history  of  that  institution  rather  than  that  of 
its  members  with  which  these  pages  are  chiefly  concerned, 
and  we  must  turn  to  that  aspect  of  the  subject. 

A  substantial  quarto  volume  has  been  compiled,  dealing 
with  the  annals  of  Brooks's  l ;  its  frontispiece  is,  appro- 
priately, an  admirable  portrait  in  crayon,  after  William 
Russell,  of  Fox,  the  original  of  which  is  in  the  possession  of 
the  club.  The  bulk  of  the  book  is  occupied  by  a  catalogue 
raisonnee  (so  to  term  it)  of  its  members  from  the  founda- 
tion till  the  year  1900.  Some  full  and  valuable  appendices 
give  further  information  with  regard  to  the  more  notable 
members,  in  a  racy  way,  which  will  well  repay  perusal. 
These  appendices  range  from  a  short  account  of  the  great 
ball  commemorating  the  recovery  of  George  III.  in  1789, 
to  Lord  Granville's  famous  "  appeal "  in  1887,  when 
political  discord,  consequent  on  Gladstone's  Home  Rule 
Bill,  threatened  to  endanger  even  the  sacred  existence  of 
Brooks's.  Prefixed  to  the  list  of  members  is  an  Introduc- 
tion, in  which  are  incorporated  such  data  as  go  to  make 
up  the  history  of  the  club.  From  this  and  other  sources 
I  have  liberally  helped  myself. 

We  must  go  beyond  St  James's  Street  for  the  origin  of 

Brooks's,   for  in   1764   a  club,   kept  by  Macall  (whose 

anagram  Almack  is  better  known),  and  founded  by  twenty- 

1  Memorials  of  Brooks's,  1907. 



seven  noblemen  and  gentlemen,  was  established  in  Pall 
Mall,  on  the  site  of  what  was  later  the  British  Institution. 
Among  its  rules  were  the  following : — that  (No.  21)  no 
gaming  should  take  place  in  the  eating-room,  except  toss- 
ing up  for  reckonings,  on  penalty  of  paying  the  whole  bill 
of  the  members  present ;  that  (No.  22)  dinner  should  be 
served  exactly  at  half-past  four  ;  that  (No.  26)  Almack  was 
not  to  be  permitted  to  sell  any  wine  in  bottles  approved 
of  by  members  out  of  the  house  * ;  that  (No.  30)  any 
member  becoming  a  candidate  for  any  other  club  (White's 
only  excepted)  should  have  his  name  struck  off  the  books 
of  Brooks 's.  And  there  were  other  rules  which  seem 
speedily  to  have  been  disregarded ;  for  instance,  that 
members  gambling  should  have  certain  stated  sums  in 
cash  by  them  for  that  purpose.  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
credit  soon  became  the  order  of  the  day,  and  when  Brooks 
took  over  the  management  his  resources  were  frequently 
called  upon  to  supply  members  with  ready  money.  Some 
idea  of  the  extent  of  the  play  here  may  be  gained  from  the 
following  note  against  the  name  of  Mr  Thynne  in  the  club 
books: — "Mr  Thynne,  having  won  only  12,000  guineas 
during  the  last  two  months,  retired  in  disgust,  21st  March 
1772."  This  was  evidently  written  by  one  of  his  victims, 
who  has  added :  "And  that  he  may  never  return  is  the 
ardent  wish  of  members." 

During  its  earlier  days  the  club  was  known  as  Almack 's,2 
and  soon  became  notable  for  its  high  play,  many  references 
to  which  are  scattered  through  the  letters  of  Walpole  and 
those  who  kept  up  such  a  frequent  correspondence  with 
Selwyn.  Apparently  the  first  extant  reference  to  the  club 
occurs  in  a  letter  from  Lord  March  to  Selwyn,  dated  July 

1  Almack  was  a  wine  merchant,  which  accounts  for  this  rule. 

2  Almack,  in  the  year  following  the  establishment  of  the  club, 
opened  his  better  remembered  Assembly  Rooms  in  King  Street, 
which  had  such  a  long  and  prosperous  career. 



1765,  wherein  the  writer,  sympathising  with  Selwyn  over 
some  monetary  losses,  remarks:  "Almack's  or  White's 
will  bring  all  back  again." 

When  exactly  Brooks  took  over  the  management  of  the 
club  is  not  quite  certain,  but  his  name  first  appears  in  a 
letter  from  Storer  to  Selwyn,  dated  6th  August  1774. 
Notwithstanding  this,  however,  the  name  of  Almack 
seems  to  have  still  been  used  till  1778,  in  which  year  the 
club  was  moved  to  No.  60  St  James's  Street,  and  took  up 
its  quarters  in  the  house  built,  at  Brooks 's  expense,  from 
designs  by  Henry  Holland,  the  architect.  Here  it  was 
opened  in  October  1778,  and  Thomas  Townshend  (after- 
wards Viscount  Sydney),  writing  to  Selwyn  in  that  month, 
remarks  :  "  As  a  proof  of  our  increasing  opulence,  I  need 
only  show  the  Opera  House  .  .  .  and  Brooks 's  new  house, 
fitted  up  with  great  magnificence,  which  is  to  be  opened 
in  a  week  or  ten  days." 

Apparently  the  play  there  was  so  fast  and  furious  that 
it  threatened  to  break  up  the  club.  Hare,  writing  to 
Selwyn  on  8th  May  1779,  says :  "We  are  all  beggars  at 
Brooks 's,  and  he  threatens  to  leave  the  house,  as  it  yields 
him  no  profit,"  which  gives  point  to  TiekelFs  lines  : 

"...  liberal  Brookes,  whose  speculative  skill 
Is  hasty  credit  and  a  distant  bill ; 
Who,  nursed  in  clubs,  disdains  a  vulgar  trade, 
Exults  to  trust,  and  blushes  to  be  paid." 

A  man  with  such  a  temperament,  and  more  sober  records 
confirm  poetical  exaggeration,  must,  indeed,  have  found  it 
difficult  to  run  an  expensive  club  under  these  conditions — 
conditions  proved  over  and  over  again  by  the  correspond- 
ence of  the  period,  when  nearly  every  high-born  letter- 
writer  complains  of  his  impecuniosity  owing  to  gambling, 
or  has  some  similar  tale  to  tell  of  his  friends.  Brooks 's 
threat  to  resign  in  1779  was  not  an  idle  one,  for  after 



eight  years  of  management  he  did  give  it  up,  and  died  in 
poverty  in  1782,  leaving  a  name  as  well  known  as  any  in 
the  social  and  political  annals  of  the  eighteenth  century. 
There  was  a  tradition,  based  on  his  impoverished  circum- 
stances, but  on  nothing  else,  that  in  order  to  evade  the 
rapacity  of  his  creditors  his  body  was  buried  in  a  small 
vault  beneath  the  pavement  of  St  James's  Street,  close  to 
the  club  of  which  he  had  for  a  time  been  the  "  patron." 

The  drawing  which  Rowlandson  made  of  the  card-room 
atBrooks's  (now  in  the  club's  possession),  and  the  illustra- 
tion of  it  by  R.  Cruikshank  in  The.  English  Spy,  give  a 
good  idea  of  a  scene  that  was  so  familiar  to  most  of  the 
fashionable  gamesters  of  the  period.  But  it  was  not  only 
at  the  faro  table  or  at  any  of  the  card  games  played  then 
that  members  of  Brooks 's  lost  their  money.  The  memorial 
of  another  form  of  gambling  is  extant  in  the  Betting  Book, 
a  volume  on  which  Sir  George  Trevelyan  has  written 
eloquently,  and  which  forms  a  companion  to  the  similar 
record  kept  among  the  archives  of  "  White's."  The  bets 
are  of  all  kinds,  for  all  sorts  of  sums,  and  on  every  conceiv- 
able subject.  "  Fifty  guineas  that  Thurlow  gets  a  Fellow- 
ship of  the  Exchequer  for  his  son ;  fifty  guineas  that 
Mademoiselle  Heinel  does  not  dance  at  the  Opera  House 
next  winter  ;  fifty  guineas  that  two  thousand  people  were 
at  the  Pantheon  last  evening ;  fifty  guineas  that  Lord 
Ilchester  gives  his  first  vote  in  Opposition,  and  hits  eight 
out  of  his  first  ten  pheasants  ;  five  guineas  down,  to 
receive  a  hundred  if  the  Duke  of  Queensberry  dies  before 
half-an-hour  after  five  in  the  afternoon  of  the  twenty- 
seventh  of  June  1773."1  Such  are  some  of  the  wagers 
which  are  to  be  found,  together  with  others  less  easily 
transcribable,  in  the  betting  book  of  Brooks 's. 

After  the  death  of  Brooks,  one  Griffin  succeeded  as 
manager.  His  name  remains  till  1815,  although  some 

1  Early  History  oj  Fox. 


twelve  years  after  his  advent,  notably  in  1795,  a  kind 
of  supervisory  board  was  formed,  the  first  members  so 
elected  being  the  Earl  of  Upper  Ossory,  Lord  Romney, 
Lord  Robert  Spencer,  Sir  Thomas  Miller,  and  Mr  Crawle. 
The  acting  manager  or  "master  "  of  the  club  seems  to 
have  henceforth  worked  in  conjunction  with  this  board 
of  control,  which  was  changed  yearly,  each  retiring 
member  naming  a  successor.  After  1795  we  find  the 
management  denominated  as  "Griffin  &  Co."  At 
some  time  subsequent  to  1815  one  Wheelwright  suc- 
ceeded to  Griffin's  place.  Wheelwright  took  Halse  into 
partnership  in  1824,  and  retired  seven  years  later. 
Halse  was  then  joined  by  Henry  Banderet.  When  the 
former  retired  in  1846  he  received  £500  from  the 
club  for  his  interest  in  the  unexpired  lease  of  the  house, 
and  fifty  guineas  for  the  surrender  of  his  lodging  there. 
Banderet  remained  on,  and  it  is  said  that  the  well-known 
remark  that  being  in  the  club  was  "  like  dining  hi  a  Duke's 
house  with  the  Duke  lying  dead  upstairs  "  was  largely  due 
to  his  having  established  in  Brooks's  that  air  of  solemn 
yet  comfortable  refinement  which  distinguishes  it.  It 
is  related  of  Banderet  that  during  the  thirty-four  years  of 
his  connection  with  the  club  he  had  never  been  absent 
except  on  one  occasion,  when  he  was  induced  to  start  on 
a  holiday,  but  found  himself  so  miserable  away  from  the 
place  that  he  was  back  there  long  before  the  day  was  over. 
At  his  death  the  management  was  undertaken  by  a  com- 
mittee of  the  club  and  has  ever  since  been  so  carried  on. l 

Of  the  actual  club-house,  I  have  already  mentioned  the 
erection  and  a  contemporary  reference  to  its  internal 
magnificence,  as  a  result  of  which  it  was  found  necessary 

1  These  details,  and  others  affecting  the  internal  economy  of  the 
club,  will  be  found  in  the  excellent  and  highly  valuable  volume 
to  which  I  have  already  referred  in  the  text — The  Memorials  of 



to  double  the  subscription.  In  1804  the  club  was  within 
an  ace  of  leaving  St  James's  Street.  It  appears  that  one 
of  the  waiters,  George  Redder,  with  a  view  to  being  taken 
into  partnership  by  Griffin,  purchased  the  lease  of  the 
building  and  refused  to  give  it  up  "for  any  pecuniary 
consideration  whatever,  but  solely  on  his  being  admitted 
into  a  share  of  the  house."  So  effectively  did  he  appear 
to  wield  the  whip-hand  that  Griffin  was,  perforce,  obliged 
to  look  out  for  other  premises,  and  had  actually  opened 
negotiations  for  the  Duke  of  Leeds'  residence,  No.  21 
St  James's  Square,  and  afterwards  for  a  house  in  Bond 
Street,  when  Redder,  having  been  dismissed,  carne  to  his 
senses  and  gave  in.  In  1815  Griffin  &  Co.  largely 
reconstructed  the  premises  in  St  James's  Street,  and  an 
additional  guinea  was  added  to  the  members'  subscrip- 
tions in  consequence.  Further  improvements  were  made 
in  1823  and  again  in  1846,  and  in  1857  the  club-house 
was  enlarged  iby  the  addition  to  it  of  No.  2  Park 
Place,  which  was  purchased  from  the  executors  of  a 
Mr  Bidwell  for  £5600  odd.  It  appears  that  the  library 
was  transferred  to  the  new  premises,  but  that  otherwise 
they  were  occupied  as  a  private  house  by  Banderet  till  his 
death  in  1880.  A.S  a  matter  of  fact,  Banderet  had  himself 
held  the  lease  of  the  original  club-house  from  1854,  the 
landlord  being  Mr  Haldimand  ;  but  in  that  year  the  latter 
sold  it  to  the  club  for  £25,000.  In  1889-1890  a  great  im- 
provement to  the  club  was  effected  by  the  regular  incor- 
poration of  No.  2  Park  Place  in  it.  By  this  a  much  more 
commodious  library  was  gained,  and  various  other  drastic 
alterations  were  possible,  making  for  the  enhanced  con- 
venience of  the  members. 

Brooks's  is  unique,  1  believe,  in  containing  a  club  within 
a  club,  for  here  "The  Fox  Club  "  was  instituted  in  memory 
of  the  great  man  with  whom  the  present  institution  is  so 
indissolubly  connected.  In  Brooks's  "great  room"  its 



meetings  are  held,  and  although  no  speeches  are  allowed, 
certain  toasts,  four  in  number,  the  first  of  them  being, 
"  In  the  Memory  of  Charles  James  Fox,"  are  given  at  the 
annual  dinners,  their  key-note  being  Fox  and  Reform. 

In  a  club  like  Brooks 's  it  may  well  be  imagined  that 
there  is  no  lack  of  anecdotes  connected  with  its  members. 
Practically  all  these  ana  have,  however,  been  repeated  so 
often,  and  are  so  well  known  by  this  time,  that  a  recapitula- 
tion of  them,  other  than  in  the  most  allusive  form,  would 
be  supererogatory.  Here  it  was  that  Wilberforce,  fresh 
to  London  life,  came  and  played  faro,  to  be  warned  by  a 
zealous  friend,  who,  in  his  turn,  was  expressively  bidden 
by  Selwyn,  "  who  kept  the  bank,  not  to  interrupt  Mr 
Wilberforce,  who  could  not  be  better  employed  " ;  here 
George,  Prince  of  Wales,  enunciated  a  certain  theory  of 
Dr  Darwin's,  only  to  have  it  killed  by  the  apt  ridicule  of 
Sheridan  ;  here  Sherry  retorted  in  an  extempore  couplet, 
on  Whitbread,  the  brewer's  denunciation  of  the  malt 
tax ;  Sir  Philip  Francis,  well  sustaining  the  character  of 
"Brutus  "  given  him  by  Rogers,  here  once  made  the 
retort  to  Roger  Wilbraham  apropos  of  Government 
rewards,  which  is  famous ;  it  was  at  B  rooks 's  that  Fox 
and  Fitzpatrick  played  cards  on  one  occasion  from  ten  at 
night  to  six  in  the  morning,  with  a  waiter  standing  by  to 
tell  the  sleepy  gamesters  whose  deal  it  was  ;  Fox,  too,  it 
was  who,  having  lost  his  last  shilling,  here,  at  faro,  was 
found  the  next  morning  by  Topham  Beauclerk,  not  in 
despair,  but  calmly  reading  Herodotus.  Foxiana  is,  of 
course,  the  backbone  of  the  Brooks 's  anecdotes — Fox, 
comfortably  settling  himself  to  sleep,  with  his  head  resting 
on  the  card  table  where  he  had  lost  a  fortune ;  Fox 
twitting  Adams  about  Government  powder,  which  led  to  a 
famous  duel,  when,  at  the  harmless  close  of  the  encounter, 
the  wit  remarked:  "Adams,  you'd  have  killed  me  if  it 
had  not  been  Government  powder  "  ;  Fox,  once  and  once 



only,  rising  from  the  gambling  table  a  winner  of  a  large 
sum,  most  of  which  he  paid  away  to  his  creditors  and  lost 
the  rest  again  almost  immediately.  But  besides  Fox  we 
have  tales  of  other  celebrities :  Sheridan  and  the  story  of  his 
forced  election,  and  how  his  opponents,  Lord  Bessborough 
and  George  Selwyn,  were  hoaxed  into  absence  from  the 
ballot,  and  his  candidature  thus  made  secure,  the  Prince 
of  Wales  being  a  principal  in  the  ruse.  "Fighting" 
Fitzgerald  and  the  even  more  exciting  incident  of  his 
election — forced  on  members  terrorised  by  the  Irish  bully 
and  fire-eater ;  Alderman  Combe  administering  a  well- 
deserved  retort  to  that  impudent  puppy  Brummell ; 
the  Duke  of  Devonshire  coming  to  the  club  every  night 
to  partake  of  a  supper  of  broiled  blade-bone  of  mutton ; 
Poodle  Byng  autocratically  rebuking  a  new  member  for 
lighting  a  cigar  under  the  balcony1  of  the  club-house; 
Raikes,  long  a  member,  but  for  the  first  time  entering  the 
club  in  the  wake  of  Brougham  for  the  purpose  of  insulting 
hmi — a  proceeding  which  nearly  resulted  in  a  duel ;  and, 
to  make  somewhere  an  end,  the  Duke  of  York,  with  certain 
boon  companions,  in  a  drunken  frolic,  breaking  into  the 
club-house  at  three  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  destroying 
as  much  in  the  way  of  furniture,  etc.,  as  they  could,  before 
peace  was  established. 

Among  the  members'  names  will  be  seen  that  of  Mr 
Benjamin  Bathurst,  who  was  elected  in  May  1808.  He 
connects  Brooks 's  with  one  of  the  strangest  and  most 
mysterious  incidents  of  the  time,  for  that  gentleman, 
bound  on  a  mission  to  Vienna  in  1809,  set  out  and  was 
never  heard  of  again.  Whether  he  fell  a  victim  to 
Napoleon's  malignity,  as  has  been  surmised,  has  never 
been  satisfactorily  established,  but  a  skeleton  found  in  the 
wood  of  Quitznow  (a  place  on  his  return  route),  so  recently 
as  1910  was  supposed  to  be  that  of  the  ill-fated  envoy. 
1  This  no  longer  exists,  of  course. 


Among  other  illustrious  members  of  Brooks 's  may  be 
mentioned  Gibbon,  elected  in  1777 ;  Burke,  Hume, 
Horace  Walpole,  Garrick,  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,  Lord 
Campbell,  who  considered  it,  and  rightly,  a  high  honour  to 
belong  to  the  club ;  Palmerston,  and  one  of  its  few  Radical 
members,  Daniel  O  'Connell.  The  first  Lord  Crewe,  who  died 
in  1829,  and  had  been  connected  with  the  club  for  sixty- 
five  years,  was  the  last  survivor  of  the  original  members. 


The  year  after  the  establishment  of  Brooks 's  saw  the 
formation  of  Arthur's.  The  fact  that  in  its  earliest  days 
White's  was  often  referred  to  as  "Arthur's,"  on  account 
of  its  having  been  run  by  Mr  Arthur,1  has  led  to  the 
erroneous  supposition  that  there  was  a  connecting  link 
between  the  two.  This  does  not  appear  to  have  been  the 
case.  When  the  first  White's  was  burnt  down  in  1733, 
Arthur  removed  elsewhere,  as  is  indicated  by  an  adver- 
tisement in  The  Daily  Post,  for  3rd  May  of  that  year. 
Subsequently  a  new  club  was  formed,  with  its  premises 
occupying  the  site  of  the  original  White's  (or  Arthur's) 
Chocolate  House,  and  apparently  took  the  name  of 
Arthur's,  from  this  circumstance  and  from  this  only. 

After  the  fire  at  White's  the  house  was  rebuilt  and  was 
occupied  by  the  club,  till  1755,  when  it  went  to  its  present 
position  on  the  other  side  of  the  street.  Some  ten  years 
after,  "Arthur's  "  was  established  in  its  old  premises.  It 
appears  that  Arthur's  club-house  remained  in  its  original 
form  till  1825,  when  the  present  structure  was  erected 
from  the  designs  of  Mr  Hopper.  No  doubt  some  of  the 
earlier  building  was  incorporated  in  the  new  work,  and  a 
ground-floor  room  at  the  back  is  even  yet,  traditionally, 
known  as  the  old  gaming-room  of  White's,  although  its 
decorations  have  been  modernised.  The  present  club 
1  See  account  of  White's. 


preserves  its  old  restrictions  as  to  smoking  in  the  library 
and  morning-room,  but  as  it  possesses  a  fine  lounge-hall, 
where  tobacco  is  not  banned,  this  disability  is  not  of 

Arthur's  has  always  been  something  of  a  country 
gentleman's  club,  and  preserves  many  characteristics 
of  those  earlier  days  when,  according  to  Mr  Ralph 
Nevill,1  "  sheep  points  and  bullocks  on  the  rubber  "  was 
a  not  uncommon  form  of  betting. 

For  the  rest,  Arthur's  is  much  in  the  position  of  a 
country  whose  annals  are  not  tempestuous  or  particularly 
notable,  and,  as  such,  may,  according  to  the  old  saying, 
be  accounted  happy.  At  any  rate,  its  classic  facade 
is  not  by  any  means  the  least  attractive  feature  in  St 
James's  Street. 


If  we  relied  solely  on  The  Thatched  House  as  a  club 
for  interesting  data,  we  should  be  hard  put  to  it  to  fill 
a  page  with  facts  concerning  it.  For  it  has  existed  in 
this  capacity  only  from  1865,  and  thus  presents  the 
anomaly  of  one  of  the  younger  clubs  with  a  name  that 
carries  us  back  to  the  days  when  St  James's  Street  was  yet, 
if  not  exactly  in  the  fields,  at  least  characterised  by  those 
rural  attributes  which  are  to-day  so  alien  to  it.  The  club, 
however,  takes  its  name  from,  and  stands  on  the  later 
site  of,  The  Thatched  House  Tavern.  This  tavern  had 
two  periods  of  existence,  so  to  speak :  the  first,  from  its 
establishment  till  1843,  when  it  occupied  the  site  on 
which  stands  to-day  the  Conservative  Club  (founded  in 
1840,.  at  74  St  James's  Street) ;  and  the  second,  from  1845 
to  1865,  when  it  was  settled  at  No.  86.  I  should  mention 
that  on  the  closing  of  the  tavern  in  the  latter  year  the 
Civil  Service  Club  took  over  its  premises,  which  very  soon 
1  London  Clubs. 


after  became  the  home  of  The  Thatched  House  Club,  with 
the  Thatched  House  Chambers  built  adjoining. 

The  Thatched  House  Tavern,  from  which  the  club 
takes  its  name,  occupied  a  considerable  area  of  irregular 
outline,  with  a  good  frontage  to  St  James's  Street, 
and  an  alley,  known  as  Thatched  House  Court, 
ran  by  the  side  of  it  and  opened  into  Park  Place.  In 
Chawner's  plan  of  St  James's,  dated  1834,  the  old 
Thatched  House  is  shown  lying  back  from  the  road- 
way, on  ground  which,  with  certain  other  tenements 
to  its  north,  is  now  occupied  by  the  Conservative 
Club.  In  this  plan  a  smaller  house  next  to  it,  on  its 
south  side,  is  marked  as  the  new  Thatched  House,  and  it 
is  on  the  site  of  the  latter  that  the  club  of  this  name  now 
stands.  The  original  Thatched  House  Tavern,  so  far  as 
its  site  is  concerned,  is  thus  the  predecessor  rather  of  the 
Conservative  Club  than  of  The  Thatched  House  Club. 

The  old  tavern  obviously  took  its  rustic  name  from 
the  character  of  its  roof.  When  it  was  first  erected  is  a 
question,  but  it  seems  pretty  clear  that  it  must  have  dated 
from  the  period  when  the  Duchess  of  Cleveland  sold  a 
portion  of  the  grounds  of  Cleveland  House  for  building 
purposes.  It  may,  indeed,  have  been  a  summer-house 
belonging  to  the  mansion  enlarged  and  adapted  to  the 
purposes  of  a  tavern,  and  hence  its  rustic  character  pre- 
served. In  any  case,  Cleveland  House  (then  Berkshire 
House)  was  erected  about  1630,  and  the  portion  of  its 
grounds  on  which  The  Thatched  House  Tavern  subse- 
quently stood  was  sold  by  the  Duchess  during  the  latter 
part  of  Charles  II.  's  reign.  Roughly,  then,  the  establish- 
ment of  the  tavern  may  be  dated  from  about  this  period. 
One  of  its  more  illustrious  frequenters  was  the  ubiquitous 
Dick  Steele,  and  we  may  be  quite  certain  that  Addison 
was  another,  but  Swift  was,  according  to  his  Journal  to 
Stella,  a  still  more  assiduous  visitor  here.  On  27th 


December  we  find  him  entertaining  the  "  Society  "  to 
which  he  belonged  at  dinner  here,  when  "brother 
Bathurst  sent  for  wine,  the  house  affording  none."  On 
the  previous  20th  of  December  he  had  written :  "I 
dined,  you  know,  with  our  Society,  and  that  odious 
Secretary  would  make  me  President  next  week ;  so  I 
must  entertain  them  this  day  se'nnight  at  The  Thatched 
House  Tavern. "  The  dinner  cost  him  no  less  than  seven 
guineas,  which  he  paid  on  the  following  2nd  January 
"  to  the  fellow  at  the  tavern  where  I  treated  the  Society." 
Five  days  later  he  tells  Stella  that  he  had  that  morning 
been  "  to  give  the  Duke  of  Ormond  notice  of  the  honour 
done  him  to  make  him  one  of  our  Society,  and  to  invite 
him  on  Thursday  next  to  The  Thatched  House."  The 
10th  was  the  day  fixed,  but  the  Duke  could  not  be  present, 
having  received  a  command  to  dine  with  Prince  Eugene. 
In  Swift's  Birthday  Verses  on  Mr  Ford,  the  tavern  is 
indirectly  referred  to  in  the  couplet : 

"The  Deanery  House  may  well  be  match'd, 
Under  correction,  with  the  Thatch'd." 

Although  in  London  Past  and  Present  it  is  stated  that 
the  tavern  stood  from  1711  on  the  site  of  the  Conservative 
Club,  yet  it  is,  as  I  have  before  surmised,  of  earlier  origin, 
for  Charles  Gildon,  who  wrote  The  Complete  Art  of  Poetry 
and  other  forgotten  pieces,  places  a  scene  in  his  Com- 
parison between  the  Two  Stages,  published  in  1702,  at  The 
Thatched  House  Tavern.1 

Apart  from  its  daily  use  as  a  tavern,  or  ale-house,  as 
Lord  Thurlow  once  denominated  it,  The  Thatched  House  2 
was  one  of  those  places  where  various  societies  held  their 

1  Curiously  enough,  this  play  is  referred  to  in  London  Past  and 

*  In  his  rooms  over  The  Thatched  House  the  late  Mr  Salting 
assembled  his  wonderful  collections  of  pictures  and  objets  d'art. 


meetings.  The  "Society  "  referred  to  by  Swift  was  one 
of  the  earliest  of  these.  A  still  better  remembered  club 
was  "  The  Society  of  Dilettanti,"  formed  in  1734,  of  which 
Walpole  not  very  fairly  wrote  that  it  was  a  club  for  which 
the  nominal  qualification  was  having  been  in  Italy,  and 
the  real  one,  being  drunk.  The  history  of  this  fraternity 
has  been  written.  Its  splendid  publications  are  well 
known.  The  aid  it  afforded  to  classic  art  is  reflected  in 
buildings,  public  and  domestic,  throughout  the  country. 
But  nothing  has,  perhaps,  better  kept  its  fame  alive  than 
the  fine  series  of  portraits  of  its  members  which,  by  a  rule 
of  the  club,  those  members  were  bound  to  have  painted 
for  presentation  to  the  club.  Three  of  them  were  by 
Sir  Joshua,  but  the  greater  number  were  executed  by 
Knapton,  the  official  painter  to  the  body  ;  at  a  later  date 
Lawrence  and  West  contributed  a  few.  These  works  of 
art,  perpetuating  the  features  of  the  many  illustrious 
members,  and  reminding  one  of  the  earlier  effort  in  this 
direction  of  the  Kit-Kat  Club,  were  hung  round  the  large 
room  at  The  Thatched  House,  where  the  club  had  its 
gatherings,  until  the  demolition  of  the  premises,  when  it, 
with  its  artistic  property,  was  removed  to  Willis's  Rooms 
in  King  Street,  and  later  to  the  Grafton  Gallery. 

The  ceiling  of  the  room  used  by  the  Dilettanti  was 
painted  to  represent  the  sky,  and  was  crossed  by  gold 
cords  interlacing  each  other,  and  from  their  knots  were 
hung  three  large  glass  chandeliers.  A  drawing  by  T.  H. 
Shepherd  shows  the  room  decorated  by  its  portraits  and 
two  fine  carved  marble  mantelpieces.1 

Prominent   among  other  fraternities 2  which  used  to 

1  Timbs'  Clubs  of  London. 

2  Timbs,  on  the  authority  of  Admiral  W.  H.  Smyth,  the  historian 
of  the  Royal  Society  Club,  gives  the  following  list  of  clubs  which 
held  their  meetings  at  The  Thatched  House  in  1860  : — The  Institute 
of  Archives,  the    Catch  Club,  the  Johnson  Club,  the   Dilettanti 
Society,   the    Farmers',  the    Geographical,    the    Geological,    the 



meet  at  The  Thatched  House,  was  the  famous  Literary 
Club,  now  represented  by  The  Club,  the  records  of  the 
latter  being  almost  as  fully  represented  in  Grant  Duff's 
Diary  as  are  those  of  the  former  in  the  pages  of  Boswell. 

The  Literary  Club,  after  meeting  at  various  places — 
The  Turk's  Head  in  Gerrard  Street  and  Prince's  in 
Sackville  Street  among  them — moved  to  Parsloe's  in 
St  James's  Street,  at  the  beginning  of  1792,  and  to  The 
Thatched  House  just  seven  years  later.  It  was,  too,  at 
this  house  that,  in  June  1815,  the  Yacht  Club  was  formed, 
afterwards  to  be  known  far  and  wide  as  the  Royal  Yacht 
Squadron;  while,  in  1791,  the  Architects'  Club  was  in- 
itiated here,  Dance,  Holland,  Wyatt,  Gandon,  etc.,  being 
original  members.1 

The  Thatched  House  Tavern  disappeared,  as  we  have 
seen,  in  1865,  a  portion  of  it  having  been  taken  down  as 
early  as  1844,  when  a  stone-fronted  edifice,  called  the 
Thatched  House  Chambers,  arose  on  its.  site.  It  was  next 
door  to  The  Thatched  House  that  Rowland,  of  Macassar 
oil  fame,  had  his  shop.  He  was  a  French  emigre,  and 
came  to  London  with  the  Bourbons  on  the  outbreak  of 
the  Revolution,  returning  to  France  in  1814.  He  was  the 
most  fashionable  coiffeur  of  the  day,  and  his  charge  for 
cutting  hair  alone  was  five  shillings. 

On  the  site  of  the  new  Thatched  House  Tavern  the 

Linnean  and  the  Literary  Societies,  the  Navy  Club,  the  Philo- 
sophers' Club,  the  Royal  College  of  Physicians'  Club,  the  Political 
Economy  Club,  the  Royal  Academy  Club,  the  Royal  Astronomical 
Society,  the  Royal  Institution  Club,  the  Royal  London  Yacht 
Club,  the  Royal  Naval  Club,  the  Royal  Society  Club,  the  St  Albans 
Medical  Club,  the  St  Bartholomew's  Contemporaries,  the  Star  Club, 
the  Statistical  Club,  the  Sussex  Club,  and  the  Union  Society  of 
St  James's — a  goodly  list  I 

By  the  by,  it  is  not  de  rigueur  to  speak  of  the  society  as  a  club, 
and  members  doing  so  submit  to  a  fine. 

1  See  Life  of  Gandon. 


Civil  Service  Club  was  formed  in  1865.  Eight  years  later 
it  was  rechristened  The  Thatched  House  Club,  as  we  know 
it.  Adjoining  it  on  the  south  side,  and  occupying  a  part 
of  No.  87  St  James's  Street,  was  at  one  time  the  Egerton 
Club,  which  is,  however,  no  longer  in  existence,  and,  so  far 
as  I  cam  learn,  never  had  any  history. 


As  we  have  seen,  the  Conservative  club-house  stands  on 
ground  a  portion  of  which  was  formerly  occupied  by  The 
Thatched  House  Club.  It  has  thus  a  certain  historic 
interest,  although  the  present  club  dates  only  from  1840, 
in  which  year  it  was  formed  as  a  kind  of  overflow  club  to 
The  Carlton.  The  club-house  was  designed  jointly  by 
Basevi  and  Sydney  Smirke,  and  was  erected  during  1843- 
1845,  being  formally  opened  on  19th  February  of  the  latter 
year.  Apart  from  the  interest  attaching  to  this  spot, 
from  the  fact  of  The  Thatched  House  having  stood  there, 
it  has  a  further  one,  for  in  an  adjoining  house,  on  the  site 
of  the  present  club,  then  occupied  by  Elmsley  the  book- 
seller, Gibbon  was  accustomed  to  lodge,  and  here  died  in 
1794 l ;  while  in  another,  in  earlier  days  forming  one  of  a 
range  of  shops  with  low  elevations,  Rowland,  famous  for 
his  Macassar  oil,  had  his  emporium,2  as  I  have  before 

The  Conservative  Club  buildings  cost  just  over  £73,000, 
of  which  nearly  £3000  was  expended  on  encaustic  decora- 
tions to  the  interior,  executed  by  Sang.  Timbs,  in  his 

1  This  house  stood  at  the  south  corner  of  Little  St  James's  Street 
in  those  days. 

"His  advertisements  speak  of  des  vertues  incomparables  de 
I'Huile  de  Macassar,  which  gives  point  to  Byron's  lines  in  Don 
Juan : 

"  In  virtues  nothing  earthly  could  surpass  her, 
Save  thine  incomparable  oil,  '-  Macassar.'-  « 


notes  on  the  place,  gives  a  description  of  its  architectural 
details,  a  form  of  writing  so  dull  and  unmeaning  to  the 
general  reader  that  I  dispense  with  it  here,  confining 
myself  to  the  statement  that  the  exterior  is  a  combination 
of  the  Corinthian  and  Roman-Doric  styles.  A  fact  re- 
corded by  the  writer,  however,  which  is  of  some  interest, 
is  that  Sir  Robert  Peel  is  said  only  once  to  have  entered 
the  club  of  which  so  many  chiefs  of  the  Conservative  Party 
have  been  and  are  members,  the  solitary  occasion  being 
when  he  was  shown  round  to  view  the  then  recently 
completed  internal  decorations. 


In  point  of  date  this  club  comes  next  on  our  list,  for 
it  was  established  in  1863,  and  is  housed  in  that  vast- 
windowed,  rather  ecclesiastical,  building  which  Alfred 
Waterhouse  designed  for  it.  In  Tallis's  Views  it  will 
be  seen  that  the  site  of  this  club,  No.  57,  with  the  adjoin- 
ing house  (No.  58),  was  then  occupied  by  Symons's  Hotel, 
the  two  buildings  being  thrown  into  one. 

Beyond  the  facts  that  The  New  University  is  the  only 
'Varsity  club  in  St  James's  Street,  that  its  frontage  stands 
out  in  a  prominent  way,  and  that  it  is  obviously  a  flourish- 
ing concern,  there  does  not  appear  to  be  any  particular 
reason  (unless,  of  course,  you  be  a  member  or  a  guest)  for 
loitering  at  it. 

The  same  may  be  said  for  the 


which  is  the  most  modern  in  St  James's  Street,  having 
been  formed  so  recently  as  1894.  As  the  last-named  club 
represents  the  'Varsities,  so  does  this  one  learned  societies 
of  various  kinds,  which  fact  differentiates  it  from  other 



clubs  in  our  street.  Beyond  this  its  interest  may  be  said 
to  be  self-centred. 


was  established  in  1875,  and  should  thus  have  taken 
precedence  of  the  Royal  Societies,  but  there  is  a  motive 
for  placing  it  last,  as  will  be  seen.  The  club-house  was 
the  work  of  C.  J.  Phipps — at  least,  that  architect  re- 
modelled it  out  of  the  earlier  building  standing  on  this  site, 
notably  Crockford's,  certain  relics  of  which  are  still  pre- 
served in  the  later  institution  in  the  shape  of  the  original 
ballot-box  and  some  chairs  once  used  in  the  gaming-rooms 
of  the  ex-fishmonger.  As  its  name  denotes,  The  Devon- 
shire is,  or  was,  political.  Its  special  shade  of  opinion 
is  likewise  thus  indicated,  or  rather  was  before  Mr 
Gladstone's  Home  Rule  Bill  tore  up  political  distinc- 
tions by  the  roots  and  removed  the  once  recognised  and 
unmistakable  landmarks. 

For  us  the  chief  interest  of  The  Devonshire  centres  in 
the  fact  that  it  is,  architecturally,  a  reconstructed  but,  of 
course,  very  different  Crockford's.  Its  exterior,  indeed, 
is  not  greatly  altered,  as  may  be  seen  by  extant  pictures 
of  the  place  as  it  was  in  George  IV.  's  time.  It  is  for  this 
reason  that  what  has  to  be  said  about  Crockford's  properly 
comes  in  this  place. 


The  name  of  Crockford's  is  as  frequent  in  Georgian  social 
annals  as  is  that  of  Almack's.  In  common  with  the  latter, 
it  has  its  place  in  contemporary  literature,  and  the  novel 
entitled  Almack's  can  be  matched  by  the  poem  called 
Crockford  House. 

Crockford,  who  began  life  as  a  fish  salesman  near  Temple 
Bar,  having  made  some  good  speculations  in  gambling, 



opened  a  hazard  bank  in  Piccadilly,  and  apparently  had 
another,  after  the  closing  of  the  Piccadilly  establishment, 
in  Bolton  Row,  according  to  the  lines  in  Crockford  House : 

"  Crockford,  voting  Bolton  Row 
On  a  sudden,  vastly  low, 
And  that  gentlemen  should  meet 
Only  in  St  James's  Street, 
Broke  his  quarters  up,  and  here 
Entered  on  a  fresh  career." 

In  a  word,  he  acquired  three  houses  in  St  James's 
Street — Nos.  50-52 — and  in  1827 l  erected  the  splendid 
building  designed  for  him  by  the  Brothers  Wyatt,  the 
decorations  of  which  alone  are  said  to  have  cost  nearly 
£100,000.  The  gambling-room  (now  the  dining-room  of 
The  Devonshire)  was  the  feature  of  what,  on  its  opening, 
was  described  as  "The  New  Pandemonium  "  by  a  genera- 
tion that  loved  long  words.  Nothing  was  forgotten  by 
this  past  master  in  the  art  of  running  a  gaming-house, 
which  could  tempt  men  of  rank  and  fashion  to  patronise 
the  new  premises,  from  the  most  elaborate  and  comfort- 
able surroundings  to  the  cookery  of  Ude  2  and  Francatelli ; 

1  He  had  probably  purchased  a  house  earlier,  as  I  find  by  the 
Rate  Books  for  1813  that  he  was  then   rated  on  a  rental  of 
£160  in  St  James's  Street.     This  house  was,  doubtless,  No.  53, 
next  door  (south)  to  Crockford's,  where  the  proprietor  lived  and 

2  Disraeli,  writing  to  his  sister  in  February  1839,  says  :   "  There 
has  been  a  row  at  Crockford's  and  Ude  dismissed.     He  told  the 
committee  he  was  worth  £10,000   a  year.     Their  new  man  is 
quite  a  failure.     So  I   think  the  great  artist  may   yet   return 
from  Elba.    He  told  Wombwell  that,  in  spite  of  his  £10,000  a  year, 
he  was  miserable  in  retirement ;  that  he  sat  all  day  with  his  hands 
before  him  doing  nothing.     Wombwell  suggested  the  exercise  of 
his  art  for  the  gratification  of  his  own  appetite.     '  Bah  ! '  he  said, 
5 1  have  not  been  into  my  kitchen  once.     I  hate  the  sight  of  my 
kitchen  ;  I  dine  on  roast  mutton  dressed  by  a  cook-maid.'    He 
shed  tears,  and  said  he  had  been  only  twice  in  St  James's  Street 



and  if  some,  like  Fox,  were  attracted  by  the  desire  of 
excitement,  others,  like  Sefton,  were  drawn  hither  by 
gastronomic  considerations.  I  suppose  there  was  hardly 
a  well-known  man  of  the  day  who  had  not  been  a  more 
or  less  frequent  visitor  to  Crockford's  gilded  saloons,  and 
the  amount  of  money  lost  and  gained  there  must  have 
been  prodigious. 

Stories  concerning  the  place  are  as  the  sands  of  the  sea  ; 
the  contemporary  letters  and  diaries  are  full  of  them. 
Hazard  was  the  game  played  here,  and  Gronow  is  prob- 
ably not  far  wrong  when  he  supposes  that  Crockford  won 
the  whole  of  the  ready  money  of  the  then  existing  genera- 
tion. The  captain's  description  of  the  place  and  its 
habitues  must  be  known  to  most  people,  and  it  seems 
that  in  some  of  the  smaller  rooms  the  play  was  more 
hazardous  even  than  in  the  larger  gaming  saloon.  ' '  Who, " 
he  writes,  "  that  ever  entered  that  dangerous  little  room 
can  ever  forget  the  large  green  table  with  the  croupiers, 
Page,  Barking  and  Bacon,  with  their  suave  manners, 
sleek  appearance,  stiff,  white  neckcloths,  and  the  almost 
miraculous  quickness  and  dexterity  with  which  they 
swept  away  the  money  of  the  unfortunate  punters  ?  " 
What  tune  "  the  old  fishmonger  himself,  seated  snug  and 
sly  at  his  desk  in  the  corner  of  the  room,  watchful  as  the 
dragon  that  guarded  the  golden  apples  of  the  Hesperides, 
would  only  give  credit  to  sure  and  approved  signatures." 
It  was,  indeed,  a  case  of  the  spider  and  the  flies — a  golden 
spider  in  a  gilded  web. 

In  Gronow 's  pages  you  may  see  two  pictures,   one 

since  his  retirement  (which  was  in  September),  and  that  he  made  it 
a  rule  never  to  walk  on  the  same  side  as  the  club-house.  '  Ah,  I 
love  that  club,  though  they  are  ingrats.  Do  not  be  offended,  Mr 
Wombwell,  if  I  do  not  take  off  my  hat  when  we  meet ;  but  I  have 
made  a  vow  I  will  never  take  off  my  hat  to  a  member  of  the  com- 
mittee.2 £  I  shall  always  take  my  hat  off  to  you,  Mr  Ude,'  was  the 



entitled  Votaries  of  the  Goddess  of  CItance — St  James's, 
the  other,  Play  at  Crockford's  Club,  1843.  Count  Dor  say 
throwing  a  Main,  which  illustrate  the  accompanying  de- 
scription. The  latter  is  dated  a  year  before  Crockford's 
death,  after  which  event  the  premises  were  sold  by 

Crockford  had  retired  in  1840,  and  the  event  seems  to 
have  spread  the  same  kind  of  consternation  among  the 
members  as  might  the  closing  of  a  bank.  "One  great 
resignation  has  occurred,"  writes  Disraeli  on  12th  June 
1840.  "  Last  night  Crockford  sent  in  a  letter  announcing 
his  retirement.  'Tis  a  thunderbolt,  and  nothing  else  is 
talked  of;  'tis  the  greatest  shock  to  domestic  credit 
since  Howard  and  Gibbs.  Some  members  are  twelve 
years  in  arrear  of  subscriptions.  One  man  owes  £700 
to  the  coffee-room  ;  all  must  now  be  booked  up.  The 
consternation  is  general." 

Two  or  three  other  clubs  tried  their  chances  there 
subsequently,  among  them  the  Military,  Naval  and 
County  Service  Club,  opened  in  1849  but  closed  three 
years  later ;  then  the  Wellington  Restaurant  opened  its 
doors  there.  "Alas,  poor  Crocky's,"  wails  Gronow, 
"  shorn  of  its  former  glory  has  become  a  sort  of  refuge  for 
the  destitute — a  cheap  dining-house  " ;  and  later  it  was 
an  auction  mart.  When  the  Devonshire  Club  started 
here  the  place  may  be  said  to  have  thrown  off  that  incubus 
which  was  the  curse  of  an  earlier  generation  and  to  have 
proved  that  men  may  meet  without  necessarily  wanting 
to  fleece  each  other  or  be  fleeced. 

i  Thirty-two  years  of  the  lease  were  unexpired,  and  this  was  dis- 
posed of  for  £2900.  It  must  be  added,  however,  that  the  ground- 
rent  stood  at  £1400  per  annum.  The  excellent  monograph  on  the 
club  written  by  Mr  H.  T.  Waddy,  and  published  hi  1919,  records 
all,  or  practically  all,  that  is  known  of  Crockford's  and  The 



At  a  house  next  door  to  Crockford's,  on  the  north  side,1 
the  Guards'  Club  was  first  established  in  1813.  In 
Tallis's  Views  it  may  be  seen,  a  narrow,  tall  building, 
not  very  dissimilar  from  the  "Guards'  "  late  premises  in 
Pall  Mall.  To  the  north  of  the  latter  was  the  corner 
house,  then  occupied  by  Hoby,  the  well-known  boot- 
maker. On  9th  November  1827  the  Guards'  club-house 
suddenly  collapsed.  This  was  caused,  it  is  said,  by  the 
excavations  made  during  the  erection  of  Crockford's, 
which  weakened  the  foundations  of  the  adjoining  house. 
The  circumstance  is  alluded  to  in  the  following  opening 
lines  of  Crockford  House : — 

"Oft  as  up  St  James's  Hill  I 
Push  along  for  Piccadilly, 
There  what  Cockney  crowds  I  meet, 
Gazing,  wondering  in  the  street 
At  the  chasm  in  front  of  White's, 
Strangest,  fearfullest  of  sights  !  " 

A  note  to  this  passage  states  that  "  the  chasm  is  here 
described  as  it  appeared  in  the  beginning  of  last  November, 
just  before  the  fall  of  the  Guards'  club-house."  Another 
set  of  verses  begins  by  asking : 

"  What  can  these  workmen  be  about  ? 
Do,  Crockford,  let  the  secret  out, 
Why  thus  your  houses  fall  ? 
Quoth  he  :  '  Since  folks  are  not  in  town, 
I  find  it  better  to  pull  down 
Than  have  no  pull  at  all.'  "  2 

Another  club,  established  on  this  side  of  St  James's 
Street,  was  Weltzie's.  It  is  said  to  have  been  formed  in 

1  That  on  the  south  side  was  for  long,  from  1873,  the  head- 
quarters of  the  Junior  St  James's  Club. 

a  The  satirical  poem  entitled  St  James's  was  addressed  to 
Mr  Crockford,  and  contains  much  amusing,  though  often  very 
allusive,  information  about  his  establishment  and  its  habituds. 
It  was  published  in  1827,  and  was  dedicated  to  Tom  Moore. 



opposition  toBrooks's,  because  Tarleton  and  Jack  Payne 
had  been  blackballed  at  the  latter,  and  their  friend,  the 
Prince  of  Wales,  withdrew  his  membership.  It  occupied 
No.  63  St  James's  Street  (afterwards  Fenton's  Hotel),  and 
was  established  there  certainly  before  1779.  Nine  years 
later  William  Grenville,  writing  to  the  Marquis  of  Buck- 
ingham, remarks  :  ' '  The  Prince  of  Wales  has  taken  this 
year  very  much  to  play,  and  has  gone  so  far  as  to  win  or 
lose  £2000  or  £3000  in  a  night.  He  is  now,  together  with 
the  Duke  of  York,  forming  a  new  club  at  Weltzie's,  and 
this  will  probably  be  the  scene  of  some  of  the  highest 
gaming  which  has  been  seen  in  town.  All  the  young  men 
are  to  belong  to  it."  l 

Weltzie  was  the  Prince  of  Wales 's  house  steward,  clerk 
of  the  kitchen,  factotum,  go-between,  what  you  will,  and 
no  doubt  he  took  the  St  James's  Street  premises  on  the 
advice,  perhaps  the  order,  of  his  Royal  Highness,  who  may 
almost  be  regarded  as  the  real  proprietor,  although  it  is  not 
probable  that  he  put  any  money  into  the  concern,  except 
what  he  lost  at  play. 

It  would  seem  that  good  living  was  as  much  a  char- 
acteristic of  Weltzie's  as  high  play,  and  in  this  respect  it 
resembled  Watier's  in  Piccadilly,  also  started  by  one  of 
the  Prince  of  Wales 's  dependants; 

When,  in  May  1779,  the  Knights  of  the  Bath  gave  their 
famous  ball  at  the  Opera  House,  the  supper  was  provided 
"by  Mr  Weltzie  of  St  James's  Street,  whose  spirit,"  so 
runs  a  contemporary  account,  "and  skill  on  this  occasion, 
we  fear,  will  far  exceed  his  profit." 

I  imagine  that  Weltzie  originally  started  a  kind  of 
restaurant  at  No.  63,  and  that  later  the  club  formed  by 
the  Prince  was  opened  in  the  already  established  premises. 

Much  the  same  sort  of  place  was  Parsloe's  in  St  James's 

1  Memoirs  of  the  Court  and  Cabinets  of  George  III.,  by  the  Duke 
of  Buckingham,  vol.  i.,  p.  363. 



Street,  where  the  Literary  Club  met  in  1792,  although 
this  establishment  was  merely  a  convivial  one  and  did  not 
pander  to  the  gambling  propensities  of  the  period. 

As  we  have  seen,  the  clubs  either  were  held  in  the 
chocolate  or  coffee  houses  of  St  James's  Street  or  were,  as 
in  the  case  of  White's,  direct  outcomes  of  these  establish- 

One  of  the  earlier  ones,  however,  is  not  known  except 
in  its  simpler  capacity,  for  Ozinda's,  as  it  was  called,  from 
its  proprietor's  name,  at  the  bottom  of  the  thoroughfare, 
"  next  door  to  the  palace,"  seems  to  have  been  a  chocolate- 
house  and  nothing  more.  It  had  Jacobite  tendencies, 
and  Swift  records  eating  there  in  March  1712.  In  1715 
Guards  were  seen  entering  the  place,  and  Mr  Ozinda  was, 
with  Sir  Richard  Vivyan  and  Captain  Forde,  who  had 
been  found  on  the  premises,  brought  out  and  carried  away 
captive.  What  subsequently  became  of  the  house  or  its 
proprietor  is  not  recorded. 

We  have  more  information  about  another  once  well- 
known  coffee-house  in  St  James's  Street.  This  was 


which  stood  three  doors  from  the  south-west  corner  of  the 
thoroughfare,  and  thus  was  next  door  but  one  to  the  old 
Thatched  House.  Adjoining  it,  on  the  south  side,  was 
Gaunt 's  coffee-house,  whither  White's  Club  moved  tem- 
porarily after  the  fire  in  1733.  Timbs  states,  in  error, 
that  the  "  St  James's  "  was  the  "last  house  but  one  on  the 
south-west  corner  "  of  the  street.  The  Rate  Books,  how- 
ever, show  that  Elliot,1  who  kept  it,  was  three  doors  from 

1  He,  or  rather  his  wife,  has  been  commemorated  by  Gay  : 
"  How  vain  are  mortal  man's  endeavours, 
Said  at  Dame  Elliot's,  Master  Travers."- 

The  Quidnuncks. 



the  corner,  while  Morriss,  who  ran  G aunt's  coffee-house, 
was  next  to  him  on  the  south,  adjoining  the  corner 
house,  once  occupied  by  Lord  Shelburne. 

Just  as  Ozinda's  and  The  Cocoa-Tree  were  pronounced 
Tory  strongholds,  so  The  St  James's  was  the  recognised 
headquarters  of  the  Whigs. 

The  Taller  and  The  Spectator  contain  frequent  references 
to  it.  For  instance,  a  kind  of  synopsis  of  the  intentions  of 
the  editors  in  No.  1  of  the  former  tells  us  that  "Foreign 
and  Domestic  News  you  will  have  from  St  James's  Coffee- 
house " ;  and  in  No.  403  of  The  Spectator  (12th  June  1712) 
Addison,  writing  apropos  a  report  of  the  French  king's 
death,  tells  us  how  he  went  the  round  of  the  coffee  and 
chocolate  houses  to  obtain  information  regarding  the 
rumour :  "  That  I  might  begin  as  near  the  Fountain  head  as 
possible,"  he  writes,  "I  first  of  all  called  in  at  St  James's 
(coffee-house),  where  I  found  the  whole  outward  room  in 
a  Buzz  of  Politics.1  The  Speculations  were  but  very 
indifferent  towards  the  Door,  but  grew  finer  as  you 
advanced  to  the  upper  end  of  the  Room,  and  were  so  very 
much  improved  by  a  knot  of  Theorists  who  sate  in  the 
inner  Room,  within  the  steam  of  the  Coffee  Pot,  that  I 
there  heard  the  whole  Spanish  Monarchy  disposed  of, 
and  all  the  Line  of  Bourbons  provided  for  in  less  than  a 
Quarter  of  an  Hour."  This  passage  gives  us  some  idea 
of  the  plan  of  the  house,  its  outer  and  inner  rooms,  the 
position  of  its  coffee  machine,  etc. ;  while  an  advertisement 
(also  from  The  Spectator,  No.  24)  informs  us  of  the  names 
of  some  of  its  personnel,  and  runs  as  follows  : — 

"To  prevent  all  Mistakes  that  may  happen  among 
gentlemen  of  the  other  End  of  the  Town,  who  come  but 

1  In  No.  i  of  The  Spectator  Addison  says :  "I  appear  on  Sunday 
nights  at  the  St  James's  Coffee-house,  and  sometimes  join  the 
Committee  of  Politics  in  the  inner  room  as  one  who  comes  there  to 
hear  and  improve." 



once  a  week  to  St  James's  Coffee-house,  either  by  miscall- 
ing the  Servants,  or  requiring  such  things  from  them  as 
are  not  properly  within  their  respective  Provinces :  this 
is  to  give  Notice,  that  Kidney,  keeper  of  the  Book-Debts 
of  the  outlying  Customers,  and  Observer  of  those  who  go 
off  without  paying,  having  resigned  that  Employment,  is 
succeeded  by  John  Sowton,  to  whose  Place  of  Enterer  of 
Messages  and  first  Coffee  Grinder  William  Bird  is  pro- 
moted ;  and  Samuel  Burdock  comes  as  Shoe  Cleaner  in 
the  Room  of  the  said  Bird." 

When  exactly  the  St  James's  coffee-house  was  first 
started  is  not  quite  clear,  but  that  it  was  in  existence  in 
1709  is  proved  by  the  fact  that  in  that  year  Michael  Cole 
first  exhibited  his  globular  oil-lamp  here,  an  invention 
which  "caught  on"  pretty  quickly  apparently,  for  an 
observant  traveller  notes,  about  this  period,  that  "most 
of  the  streets  are  wonderfully  well  lighted,  for  in  front  of 
each  house  hangs  a  lantern  or  large  globe  of  glass,  inside 
of  which  is  placed  a  lamp  which  burns  all  night:" 

A  notable  frequenter  of  the  coffee-house  was  Swift,  who, 
in  his  Journal  to  Stella,  makes  various  allusions  to  it, 
chiefly  in  reference  to  letters  being  left  there  for  him : 
"I  will  pay  for  their  letters  at  the  St  James's  Coffee- 
house that  I  may  have  them  the  sooner,"  he  writes  at  a 
time  when  correspondence  for  which  he  was  not  saanxious 
was  to  be  sent  to  him  under  care  of  Richard  Steele,  Esq., 
at  the  Cockpit  in  Westminster;  On  one  occasion  he  passes 
part  of  the  afternoon  with  Sir  Matthew  Dudley  and  Will: 
Frankland  there.  Sometimes  he  dates  his  letters  from  the 
St  James's.  In  October  1710,  however,  he  remarks  that  he 
is  "not  fond  at  all  of  St  James's  Coffee-house,  as  I  used 
to  be  ";  and  adds,  "  I  hope  it  will  mend  in  winter."  It 
was  evidently  dull  just  then,  as  its  members  were  "all 
out  of  Town  at  Elections,  or  not  come  from  their  Country 
houses."  Later,  Swift  asks  that  those  who  direct  packets 



to  him  should  do  so  under  cover  to  Mr  Addison  at  the 
St  James's  coffee-house.  It  appears  that  when  letters 
arrived  there  they  were  fixed  in  a  little  glass  frame  in  the 
bar,  whither  Swift,  on  one  occasion,  speaks  of  looking 
for  one  of  M.  D:'s  (Stella's)  letters  in  her  "little  hand- 

It  was  at  The  St  James's  that  the  Town  Eclogues  were 
read  on  their  first  appearance,  and  in  the  "Advertise- 
ment "  to  the  work  the  fact  is  thus  recorded  by  the  writer  : 
"Upon  reading  them  over  at  St  James's  Coffee-House  they 
were  attributed  by  the  general  voice  to  the  production  of 
a  Lady  of  Quality.  When  I  produced  them  at  Button's 
the  poetical  jury  there  brought  in  a  different  verdict,  and 
the  foreman  strenuously  insisted  that  Mr  Gay  was  the 
man."  As  in  the  famous  discussion  about  the  colour  of 
the  chameleon,  both  attributions  were  right  and  wrong, 
for  it  is  now  generally  agreed  that  the  work  was  a  joint 
production,  "The  Drawing  Room  "  being  by  Lady  Mary 
Wortley  Montagu  (the  Lady  of  Quality),  but,  according 
to  Pope,  who  himself  contributed  "The  Basset-Table," 
the  rest  was  "almost  wholly  Gay's."  l 

Another  and  more  notable  circumstance  connects  the 
St  James's  coffee-house  with  the  annals  of  literature,  for 
it  was  here  that  occurred  the  incident  which  caused  Gold- 
smith to  write  his  Retaliation.  It  was  customary  for  a 
number  of  literary  men  to  meet  together  here,  among 
them  being  Johnson,  Garrick,  Doctor  Bernard,  Edmund 
and  Richard  Burke,  Caleb  Whitefoord,  Thomson, 
Reynolds,  Cumberland,  etc.  Cumberland  gives  the  origin 
of  these  meetings  in  a  dinner  at  Sir  Joshua's,  where 
Edmund  Burke  suggested  that  they  should  assemble 
occasionally  at  the  St  James's  coffee-house.  To  these 

1  See  Spence's  A  necdotes.  The  book  was  published  by  J.  Roberts, 
"  near  the  Oxford  Anns  in  Warwick  Lane,!!  on  26th  March  1716. 
See  Underbill's  Poetical  Works  of  John  Gay.  2  vols.  1893. 



meetings  Goldsmith  invariably  came  late,  and  on  one 
occasion  some  of  the  members  produced  mock  epitaphs 
on  "the  late  Dr  Goldsmith,"  the  only  one  that  has 
survived  being  Garrick's : 

"Here  lies  poet  Goldsmith,  for  shortness  called  Noll ; 
He  wrote  like  an  angel,  and  talked  like  poor  Poll." 

There  has  been  some  difference  of  opinion  as  to  the  exact 
circumstances  and  the  mood  in  which  Goldsmith  took 
the  friendly  banter,  but,  in  any  case,  the  Retaliation  was 
his  retort  to  what  some  of  his  friends  produced  in  the  St 
James's  coffee-house.1  Two  years  after  this  harmless 
combat  took  place  a  different  sort  of  encounter  occurred 
at  the  coffee-house,  and  Lord  Carlisle,  writing  to  Selwyn 
in  1776,  describes  how  "The  Baron  de  Lingsing  ran  a 
French  officer  through  the  body  on  Thursday  for  laughing 
at  the  St  James's  Coffee-house. "  "I  find,"  adds  Carlisle, 
"  he  did  not  pretend  that  he  himself  was  laughed  at,  but 
at  that  moment  he  chose  that  the  world  should  be  grave. " 

Among  other  prominent  members  may  be  mentioned 
St  John,  during  the  early  years  of  the  house's  existence, 
and  Dr  Warton  at  a  later  period.  It  is  recorded  of  the 
latter  that  often  he  would  be  found  at  breakfast  there 
surrounded  by  officers  of  the  Guards  (who  were  also 
frequenters  of  the  place)  listening  with  interest  and 
attention  to  his  conversation. 

At  a  still  later  date  we  get  a  glimpse  of  another  literary 
celebrity  at  the  "  St  James's,"  for,  as  a  young  man,  Isaac 
Disraeli  was  accustomed  to  come  up  to  London  from  his 
father's  house  at  Enfield,  in  order  to  read  the  newspapers 

The  coffee-house  did  not  exist  for  very  many  years  after 
this,  for  in  1806  it  was  closed,  its  premises  demolished, 

1  See,  for  a  full  account  of  the  circumstances,  Forster's  Life  of 
Goldsmith,  1871,  vol.  ii.,  p.  404  et  seq. 



and  a  large  block  of  buildings  erected  on  its  site.  These, 
in  turn,  were  pulled  down  a  few  years  ago,  and  a  still  more 
elaborate  structure  raised  in  their  place. 

As  I  have  stated,  Gaunt's  coffee-house  was  next  door 
to  the  "  St  James's,"  on  the  south.  There  seems  to  be 
practically  no  reference  to  it  in  contemporary  literature, 
and  little  appears  to  be  known  of  it,  except  the  fact  that 
White's  for  a  time  occupied  it,  as  we  have  seen.  Its  site 
was,  in  the  earlier  years  of  the  last  century,  covered  by 
the  large  double  house,  run  by  one  English  as  an  hotel. 
This  building  was  eventually  pulled  down  and  the  new 
erection  referred  to  above  set  up  in  its  place. 


IT  would  probably  be  far  easier  to  make  a  list  of  the 
famous  men  and  women  of  the  last  two  centuries  who 
have  not  in  one  way  or  another  been  connected  with  St 
James's  Street  and  its  tributaries,  than  to  give  a  complete 
record  of  those  who  have.  When  we  remember  that  the 
whole  of  the  social  life  and  much  of  the  political  during  the 
eighteenth  century  was  focused  round  this  thoroughfare; 
when  we  call  to  mind  the  associations  of  the  two  famous 
clubs  which  held,  and  to  some  extent  still  hold,  sway 
here  ;  when  we  recollect  that  the  coffee-houses  were  then 
the  resort  of  the  great  ones  in  all  walks  of  life,  and  also 
recall  the  names  of  the  illustrious  people  who  actually 
lived  in  the  thoroughfare  or  the  byways  out  of  it,  it  will 
not  be  difficult  to  realise  how  much  St  James's  Street 
stood  for  during  that  period  which,  beginning  with  the 
reign  of  Anne,  closed  with  the  saddened,  clouded  days  of 
George  III. 

During  the  last  century  the  case  is  very  parallel.  The 
rise  and  extraordinary  power  wielded  by  the  female 
oligarchy  which  directed  the  destinies  of  Almack's,  the 
ever-increasing  prosperity  of  White's  and  Brooks's,  the 
fashion  which  made  St  James's  Street  the  social  thor- 
oughfare par  excellence  of  the  Regency,  all  combined  in 
sustaining  the  reputation  of  the  street  and  in  crowding  it 
with  the  men  and  women  whose  names  live  in  the  political 
and  fashionable  annals  of  the  period.  Since  those  days, 
although  certain  marked  changes  have  taken  place  here, 
the  street  has  retained  that  character  which  it  has  borne 



for  so  long.  Illustrious  statesmen  may  no  longer  live 
in  it  (although  in  some  of  its  by-streets  they  are  still  to  be 
found,  or  were  a  few  years  since),  but  they  may  yet  be 
seen  perambulating  its  pavements.  The  clubs  may  no 
longer  be  quite  the  political  centres  they  once  were  (such 
activity  being  now  removed  to  Pall  Mall),  but  politicians 
still  enter  their  portals  and  look  out  from  their  windows. 
If  no  one  to-day  emulates  the  equestrian  feats  of  Lord 
Petersham  or  the  Jehu-like  proclivities  of  "  Old  Q  "  or 
Lord  Alvanley,  the  motor  and  the  taxi  bear  to  and  fro 
men  every  whit  as  notable  and  as  citizens  far  more  useful. 
There  are  two  reasons  why  St  James's  Street  should 
always  bear  a  unique  character  among  London's  in- 
numerable thoroughfares :  the  presence  at  its  lower  end 
of  St  James's  Palace,  and  the  fact  that  London's  chief 
western  artery  beats  at  its  upper  extremity.  For  if  the 
Palace  is  no  longer  the  residence  of  the  Sovereign,  it  yet 
signifies  the  seat  of  the  imperial  dignity,  official  documents 
still  bearing  the  time-honoured  information  that  they 
emanate  from  the  Court  of  St  James's;  and  if  Piccadilly 
has  been  rivalled  in  size  by  other  thoroughfares,  it  yet 
remains  essentially  the  principal  source  whence  the  life- 
blood  of  the  west  is  pumped  (so  to  phrase  it)  into  those 
lesser  arteries  on  both  sides  of  it,  of  which  the  chief  is 
the  St  James's  Street  of  a  thousand  memories. 

In  the  foregoing  pages  we  have  come  across  a  variety 
of  illustrious  people  who  have  either  resided  here  or  who 
have  been  connected  with  the  thoroughfare  in  other  ways 
— statesmen  and  politicians,  poets  and  painters,  literary 
men  and  men  of  leisure,  roue's  of  the  days  of  the  Stuarts 
and  rakes  of  the  days  of  the  Guelphs.  The  Pulteneys 
and  the  Baldwins,  who  represent  the  earliest  inhabitants, 
have  given  way  to  the  stately  form  of  Edmund  Waller 
and  the  aristocratic  mien  of  my  Lord  Berkshire ;  the 
beautiful  Countess  of  Carlisle  and  the  rather  illusive  Lady 
M  177 


Pickering  have  passed  away  in  favour  of  the  notorious 
Duchess  of  Cleveland  and  the  super-proud  Countess  of 
Northumberland ;  Sir  Allan  Apsley  and  Sir  John  Dun- 
combe,  the  scientific  Lord  Brouncker  and  the  Jacobite 
Sir  John  Fenwick,  have  retired  into  the  shades  and  have 
been  replaced  by  Dr  Swift  and  the  Duke  of  Kingston. 
The  beautiful  Molly  Lepell  and  Mr  Maclean,  highwayman, 
Mr  Addison  and  Dick  Steele  are  ghosts  in  whose  footsteps 
tread  other  phantoms — Lord  Nelson  and  Charles  James 
Fox  and  the  sedate  Mr  Wilberforce.  Byron  looks  out  of 
a  window  close  by,  a  window  from  which  Gillray  falls 
headlong;  "Old  Q  "  drives  where  the  Duke  of  Ormond 
drove  on  a  memorable  occasion.  Down  the  steps  of 
White's  feet  follow  feet  in  endless  succession — Sefton  and 
Brummell  and  Raikes  hard  on  Gilly  Williams  and  George 
Selwyn  and  Horace  Walpole — the  chiefs  of  the  Tory 
aristocracy  in  an  endless  succession  of  illustrious  names. 
Brooks's  disgorges  a  not  less  notable  crowd,  many  of 
whom,  like  Lord  March  and  Selwyn,  were  also  among 
the  members  of  White's.  Mr  Vernon,  who  founded  the 
Jockey  Club,  and  the  Duke  of  Grafton,  whom  Junius 
attacked  so  virulently;  Rodney,  the  great  seaman,  and 
Augustus  Hervey,  also  a  sea-dog,  who  married  Elizabeth 
Chudleigh,  afterwards  Duchess  of  Kingston ;  Lord  Corn- 
wallis,  Charles  James  Fox  and  Peter  Beckford ;  Storer, 
the  correspondent  of  Selwyn,  and  Hare  of  the  many 
friends  ;  Lord  Ligonier,  perpetuated  by  Reynolds,  and 
Gibbon,  who  perpetuated  the  decadence  of  Rome.  Gren- 
ville  and  Pitt  and  Coke  of  Norfolk,  and  Sheridan  and 
Burke ;  Lord  Sandwich — the ' '  Jimmy  Twitcher ' '  of  the  cari- 
caturists— and  Lord  William  Russell,  who  was  murdered 
by  Courvoisier  ;  while  the  habitues  of  The  Cocoa-Tree  and 
Boodle's,  of  the  St  James's  coffee-house  and  Ozinda's 
join  the  throng  and  contribute  their  quota  to  the  crowd. 
The  heyday  of  St  James's  Street  was  the  eighteenth 



century — that  period  which  stands  out,  in  picturesqueness, 
from  all  other  periods  of  English  social  life.  Waller 1 
may  have  strolled  down  the  street  often  enough  at  an 
earlier  date,  when  he  lived  "next  doore  to  the  Sugar 
Loafe."  My  Lord  Clarendon  must  often  have  been  seen 
passing  out  of  Berkshire  House ;  and  the  merry  monarch 
himself,  no  doubt,  loitered  up  from  the  Palace,  with 
Rochester  or  Sedley,  and  perhaps  Mr  Evelyn,  in  his  train, 
and  probably  Samuel  Pepys  on  the  outskirts,  noting  all 
things,  including  the  vanity  and  outrageous  behaviour 
of  Lady  Castlemaine. 

The  Duke  of  Ormond  was  waylaid  by  Blood  at  the  top 
of  the  street  on  that  famous  occasion  when  hardly  could 
all  his  Grace's  attendants  save  him  from  abduction  in 
broad  daylight  and  in  the  very  sight  of  the  royal  Palace. 
But  it  is  the  eighteenth  century  that  leaves  the  chief 
reflected  glamour  on  St  James's  Street ;  the  eighteenth 
century,  ranging  from  the  days  of  Addison  and  Steele  and 
Swift  to  those  of  Scott  and  Byron  and  Campbell ;  but 
chiefly  the  eighteenth  century  when  Horace  Walpole  was 
writing  his  letters,  when  Selwyn  was  uttering  his  good 
things  and  Elizabeth  Chudleigh  was  doing  her  uncon- 
ventional ones.  Indeed,  it  is  to  Walpole  that  we  chiefly 
look  for  data  about  the  life  of  fashionable  London  in 
those  days ;  and  Walpole  never  disappoints  us.  About 
St  James's  Street  and  its  life  and  clubs  he  is  full  of 
amusing  and  interesting  details.  Open  his  correspondence 
almost  at  random,  and  you  will  find  something  bearing  on 

1  On  one  occasion  Waller  writes  as  follows  to  his  wife : — 

"  The  Duke  of  Buckingham  with  the  Lady  Sh  (rewsbury  ?) 
came  hither  last  night  at  this  tyme  and  carried  me  to  the  usual 
place  to  supper,  from  whence  I  returned  home  at  four  o'clock  this 
morning,  having  been  earnestly  entreated  to  supp  with  them 
again  to-night,  but  such  howers  can  not  be  always  kept,  therefore 
I  shall  eat  my  two  eggs  alone  and  go  to  bedd. " 



the  subject.  For  instance  we  have  him,  in  1745,  writing 
to  George  Montagu,  and  telling  how  "one  Mrs  Corny ns, 
an  elderly  gentlewoman,  has  lately  taken  a  house  in  St 
James's  Street,"  and  how  "some  young  gentlemen  went 
thither  t'other  night.  '  Well,  Mrs  Comyns,  I  hope  there 
won't  be  the  same  disturbances  here  that  were  at  your 
other  house  in  Air  Street. '  '  Lord,  Sir,  I  never  had  any 
disturbances  there ;  mine  was  as  quiet  a  house  as  any  in 
the  neighbourhood,  and  a  great  deal  of  good  company 
came  to  me  :  it  was  only  the  ladies  of  quality  that  envied 
me. '  '  Envied  you  !  why,  your  house  was  pulled  down 
about  your  ears  !  '  'Oh,  dear,  Sir  !  Don't  you  know  how 
that  happened  ?  '  '  No,  pray,  how  ?  '  '  My  dear  Sir, 
it  was  Lady  Caroline  Fitzroy,  who  gave  the  mob  two 
guineas  to  demolish  my  house,  because  her  ladyship 
fancied  I  got  women  for  Colonel  Conway.'  I  beg  you 
will  visit  Mrs  Comyns  when  you  come  to  town ;  she  has 
infinite  humour. " 1 

Again,  it  is  Walpole  who  tells  us  of  Maclean,  the  highway- 
man, and  his  companion,  Plunket,  who  had  lodgings 
respectively  in  St  James's  and  Jermyn  Streets,  that 
"  their  faces  are  as  known  about  St  James's  as  any  gentle- 
man's who  lives  in  that  quarter  " ;  as  well  as  of  the  old 
Countess  of  Northumberland,  who  lived  on  the  site  of 
White's  club-house,  that  "when  she  went  out  a  footman, 
bareheaded,  walked  on  each  side  of  her  coach,  and  a 
second  coach  with  her  women  attended  her."  Here  is 
another  and  later  vignette  of  a  St  James's  Street  vehicular 
scene  :  "  The  Duke  of  Queensberry,"  writes  Lord  Carlisle 
to  Selwyn  (1779),  "  has  added  a  little  chaise  with  ponies, 
so  that  with  his  vis-d-vis,  Kitty's  coach  and  his  riding 
horses,  St  James's  Street  seems  entirely  to  belong  to  him, 
and  he  has  an  exclusive  right  to  drive  in  it." 

1  This,  doubtless,  refers  to  the  "  certain  notorious  house  in 
St  James's  Street  "  of  which  Besant  speaks. 



A  still  later  one  is  supplied  by  Moore l  on  the 
occasion  of  his  accompanying  Byron  on  a  visit  to  Tom 
Campbell  at  Sydenham  in  1811:  "When  we  were  on 
the  point  of  setting  out  from  his  lodging  in  St  James's 
Street,  it  being  then  about  mid-day,  he  said  to  the 
servant  who  was  shutting  the  door  of  the  vis-d-vis : 
'  Have  you  put  in  the  pistols  ?  '  and  was  answered  in  the 

Apropos  of  Byron's  residence  in  St  James's  Street, 
although  his  letters  prove  him  to  have  lodged  at  No.  8 
(where  his  huge  medallion  portrait  may  still  be  seen  on 
the  face  of  the  house)  in  1809,  and  again  from  October 
1811  to  July  1812,  I  find  one  communication  of  his  dated 
from  Reddish 's  Hotel,  in  the  street,  on  23rd  July  1811. 
The  name  of  another  poet,  Campbell,  reminds  me  that  he,  _~ 
too,  once  lodged  in  St  James's  Street,  in  1836,  at  York 
Chambers,  then  No.  41.  Although  in  some  respects 
Byron  is  the  street's  most  famous  ghost,  the  thoroughfare 
seems  far  more  closely  identified  with  the  shade  of  another 
great  man — Charles  James  Fox;  for  not  only  did  he 
live  here,  as  well  as  in  Arlington  Street,  for  a  time,  but 
the  larger  portion  of  his  life  must  have  been  spent  at  the 
hazard  tables  of  the  St  James's  Street  clubs,  with  which 
his  name  is  so  intimately  identified.  He  lodged  next  door 
to  Brooks 's,2  and  it  was  hither  he  returned  from  Italy 
on  24th  November  1788,  after  a  journey  of  some  eight 
hundred  miles  performed  in  nine  days,  to  be  present  at 
the  debates  on  the  Regency  Bill.  Seven  years  earlier  his 
affairs  had  reached  one  of  their  periodical  crises,  and 
Walpole  relates  how,  as  he  came  up  St  James's  Street,  he 
saw  "a  cart  and  porters  at  Charles's  door,  coppers  and 

1  Life  of  Byron,  vol.  i.,  p.  404. 

2  His  rooms  were  on  the  first  floor,  and  immediately  above  them 
were  apartments  occupied  by  James  Hare — "  the  Hare  with  many 



old  chests  of  drawers  loading.  In  short,  his  success  at  faro 
has  awakened  his  host  of  creditors,  but  unless  his  bank 
had  swelled  to  the  size  of  the  Bank  of  England,  it  would 
not  have  yielded  a  sop  for  each.  Epsom,  too,  had  been 
unpropitious,  and  one  creditor  has  actually  seized  and 
carried  off  his  goods,  which  did  not  seem  worth  removing. 
As  I  returned,  full  of  this  scene,  whom  should  I  find 
sauntering  by  my  own  door  (in  Arlington  Street)  but 
Charles.  He  came  up  and  talked  to  me  at  the  coach- 
window  on  the  Marriage  Bill  with  as  much  sang-froid  as 
if  he  knew  nothing  of  what  had  happened. " 

To  Fox's  lodgings  here  the  Prince  of  Wales  frequently 
came,  and  oftener  than  not  remained  "  drinking  royally  " 
with  his  host,  who,  as  soon  as  he  rose,  which  was  very  late, 
had  a  levee  of  his  followers  and  of  the  members  of  the 
gaming  set  at  Brooks's.  His  outer  room  he  styled  his 
Jerusalem  chamber,  because  of  the  Jews  who  waited  in  it 
to  offer  him  pecuniary  assistance,  or  to  dun  him  for  loans 
already  made.  Fox  was  accustomed  to  borrow  even 
from  the  waiters  at  his  clubs,  and  the  very  chairmen  in  St 
James's  Street  were  in  the  habit  of  importuning  him  for 
the  payment  of  their  trifling  charges.1 

It  was  probably  in  Fox's  house  that  Mrs  Gunning  and 
her  daughter  lodged  in  1791.  "The  Signora  and  her  in- 
fanta now,  for  privacy,  are  retired  into  St  James's  Street, 
next  door  to  Brooks's  Club,"  writes  Walpole  to  Miss 
Berry.  This  lady  was  the  wife  of  General  John  Gunning, 
and  her  daughter,  Elizabeth,  was  thus  niece  to  the  beauti- 
ful Duchess  of  Argyll.  In  1791  this  daughter  became 
notorious  in  connection  with  her  own  and  her  mother's 
attempts  to  prove  that  the  Marquises  of  Lome  and  Bland- 
ford  had  both  made  her  offers  of  marriage.  They  denied 
the  truth  of  Miss  Gunning's  statement,  and  she  remained 

1  By  the  by,  the  last  stand  for  sedan  chairs  was  in  St  James's 
Street,  and  down  to  1821  six  or  seven  could  still  be  found  there. 



single  till  1803,  when  she  became  the  wife  of  a  Major 

Three  years  after  this  Gibbon  died  at  his  lodgings  in 
St  James's  Street.  His  rooms  were  at  No.  76,  then  over 
Elmsley's,  the  bookseller's,  and  on  the  site  of  what  is  now 
part  of  the  Conservative  Club.  According  to  Gibbon 
himself,  the  lodging  was  "cheerful,  convenient,  some- 
what dear,  but  not  so  much  as  a  hotel ;  a  species  of 
habitation  for  which  I  have  not  conceived  any  great 

He  wrote  thus  cheerfully,  but  death  was  not  far  from 
him.  Morison  3  tells  us  that  his  malady  was  dropsy,  but 
complicated  with  other  disorders.  After  twice  under- 
going the  operation  of  tapping  in  November  1793,  he 
went  to  visit  Lord  Sheffield,  but  rapidly  became  so  much 
worse  that  he  determined  to  return  to  London  in  order 
to  be  under  the  joint  care  of  Clive  and  Baillie.  He  left 
Sheffield  Place  on  7th  January  1794.  Six  days  later 
another  operation  took  place  and  gave  him  temporary 
relief :  "  Next  day  he  received  some  visitors,  and  thought 
himself  well  enough  to  omit  the  opium  draught  which 
for  some  time  he  had  been  used  to  take.  In  the  course  of 
conversation  he  remarked  that  he  thought  himself  a  good 
life  for  two,  twelve,  or  perhaps  twenty  years.  About  six 
he  ate  the  wing  of  a  chicken  and  drank  three  glasses  of 
Madeira.  Though  he  had  a  bad  night,  on  the  morning  of 
the  15th  he  professed  to  feel  plus  adroit  than  he  had  been 
for  three  months  past.  He  wished  to  rise,  and  it  was  with 
some  difficulty  his  servants  persuaded  him  to  keep  his 
bed  until  the  doctor  called,  who  was  expected  at  eleven. 
At  the  time  appointed  the  doctor  came  ;  but  Gibbon  was 
then  visibly  dying,  and  about  a  quarter  before  one  he 

1  Letter  to  Lord  Sheffield,  dated  pth  November  1793,  from  St 
James's  Street. 
3  Lije  of  Gibbon. 



ceased  to  breathe.    He  wanted  just  eighty-three  days 
more  to  have  completed  his  fifty-seventh  year." 

Gibbon,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  a  member  of  both 
The  Cocoa-Tree  and  Brooks 's,  and  in  his  journal  will  be 
found  references  to  these  clubs.  A  curious  memento, 
connecting  Fox  and  Gibbon  with  the  latter,  must  be 
among  the  treasures  of  some  collector,  for,  when  Fox's 
belongings  were  sold,  after  his  death,  there  was  found  the 
first  volume  of  The  Decline  and  Fall  of  the  Roman  Empire, 
presented  by  Gibbon  to  the  statesman,  who  had  written 
on  one  of  the  blank  leaves  this  pregnant  note:  "The 
author,  at  Brooks 's,  said  there  was  no  salvation  for  this 
country  until  six  heads  of  the  principal  persons  in  adminis- 
tration were  laid  upon  the  table.  Eleven  days  after,  this 
same  gentleman  accepted  a  place  of  lord  of  trade  under 
those  very  Ministers,  and  has  acted  with  them  ever  since !  " 

St  James's  Street,  which  sheltered  Waller  and  Pope  and 
Byron ;  where  Maclean,  the  highwayman,  lodged  cheek  by 
jowl  with  the  "  quality  "  whom  he  robbed ;  where  Wolfe 
once  stayed  and  wrote  to  Pitt  asking  for  employment  in 
1758 ;  and  where  Gillray  threw  himself  out  of  a  window  ; 
where  the  clubs  and  coffee-houses  took  in  and  gave  forth 
half  the  intellect  and  aristocracy  of  the  land ;  where  Dr 
Johnson,  requiring  a  pair  of  shoe-buckles,  came  to  the 
shop  of  Wirgman,  here,  to  get  them,  as  faithfully  recorded 
by  Boswell — St  James's  Street  is,  notwithstanding  its 
famous  habitues  and  its  notable  events,  as  much  associated 
with  the  name  of  Betty,  the  fruit  woman,  as  with  that  of 
any  other  person  during  the  eighteenth  century. 

Readers  of  Walpole's  Letters  will  not  need  to  be  told 
who  Betty  was;  those  whose  studies  have  not  included 
this  source  of  information  will  probably  like  to  know. 
Her  real  name  was  Elizabeth  Neale,  but  she  was  known 
to  everyone  who  was  anyone  as  Betty,  tout  court.  Her 
shop  was  at  No.  62,  and  here  politicians  and  men  and 



women  of  ton  were  accustomed  to  lounge.  Betty  not  only 
knew  everything  that  was  passing  in  the  world  of  fashion 
and  politics,  she  was  also  well  versed  in  the  family  history 
of  her  patrons ;  she  had  a  pleasing  manner,  and  is  said  to 
have  been  full  of  anecdotes  and  stories,  which  she  retailed 
to  her  clientele. 

Mason,  in  his  Heroic  Epistle  to  Sir  William  Chambers, 
has  immortalised  her  in  the  following  lines,  about  which, 
by  the  by,  Walpole l  tells  us  she  was  in  raptures  : — 

"  There,  at  one  glance,  the  royal  eye  shall  meet 
Each  varied  beauty  of  St  James's  Street ; 
Stout  Talbot  there  shall  ply  with  hackney  chair, 
And  patriot  Betty  fix  her  fruit-shop  there. " 

Of  Betty's  origin  nothing  seems  to  be  known,  except 
that  she  was  born,  in  1730,  in  St  James's  Street.  She 
was  accustomed  to  say  that  she  had  slept  out  of  the 
thoroughfare  only  on  two  occasions:  once  when  she 
went  to  pay  a  visit  in  the  country,  and  once  when  she  went 
to  Windsor  on  the  occasion  of  an  Installation  of  Knights 
of  the  Garter. 

When  Walpole  visited  Vauxhall  in  1750  with  Lady 
Caroline  Petersham  and  others,  on  the  famous  occasion 
recorded  in  his  Letters,2  Betty  accompanied  the  party 
with  hampers  of  strawberries  and  cherries.  In  1763  we 
find  Lord  Holland  telling  Selwyn  that  he  "sent  Betty 
a  present  by  Lord  Bateman,  which  she  received  very 
graciously  indeed";  and  in  the  Selwyn  correspondence 
are  frequent  allusions  to  the  lady. 

Betty  retired  from  business  about  1783,  and  went  to 
live  in  a  house  in  Park  Place,  in  which  she  died  on  30th 
August  1797,  at  the  age  of  sixty-seven.  In  an  obituary 
notice  of  her  in  The  Gentleman's  Magazine,  the  following 

1  Letter  to  Mason,  2/th  March  1773. 

2  To  Montagu,  23rd  June  1750. 



summary  of  her  attainments  appears : — "  She  had  the 
first  pre-eminence  in  her  occupation,  and  might  justly 
be  called  the  Queen  of  Applewomen.  Her  knowledge  of 
families  and  characters  of  the  last  and  present  age  was 
wonderful.  She  was  a  woman  of  pleasing  manner  and 
conversation,  and  abounding  with  anecdote  and  entertain- 
ment. Her  company  was  ever  sought  for  by  the  highest 
of  our  men  of  rank  and  fortune. " 

It  was  near  Betty's  shop  that  Thomas  Wirgman  had  his 
establishment,  where  he  carried  on  business  as  a  goldsmith 
and  jeweller,  and  where  once  at  least  (as  I  have  mentioned) 
the  great  Dr  Johnson  was  a  customer.  Wirgman  was  as 
much  a  character  in  his  way  as  was  Betty  in  hers.  He 
made  a  considerable  fortune,  but  got  rid  of  most  of  it  in 
developing  his  version  of  Kantesian  philosophy.  He  had 
paper  specially  made  for  his  books,  the  same  sheet  consist- 
ing of  several  different  colours,  and  it  is  said  that  one  book 
of  four  hundred  pages  cost  him  no  less  than  £2276. 
Among  his  publications  was  a  grammar  of  the  five  senses, 
for  the  use  of  children,  which,  he  declared,  if  generally  used 
in  schools,  would  restore  peace  and  harmony  to  the  world, 
with  the  result  that  virtue  would  everywhere  replace 
crime.  There  must  have  been  more  than  a  touch  of 
madness  in  a  man  who  hoped,  under  any  circumstances, 
to  bring  about  such  a  desideratum  ;  but  it  is  pleasant  to 
think  of  honest  Wirgman  working  out  his  Utopian  theories 
within  sound  of  the  gambling  hells  of  St  James's  Street 
and  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  the  laxity  and  extravagance 
of  his  essentially  free-and-easy  century. 

To-day  it  is  rather  difficult  to  reconstruct  the  St 
James's  Street  of  history  and  legend  from  the  changed 
character  and  rebuilt  outlines  of  the  existing  thoroughfare. 
Thackeray1  says  that,  "after  looking  in  The  Rake's 

1  Thackeray,  by  the  by,  was  lodging  at  No.  88,  in  1843-1844, 
when  engaged  on  Barry  Lyndon,  which  he  began  and  finished  here. 



Progress  at  Hogarth's  picture  of  St  James's  Palace-gate, 
you  may  people  the  street,  but  little  altered  within  these 
hundred  years,  with  the  gilded  carriages  and  thronging 
chairmen  that  bore  the  courtiers,  your  ancestors,  to  Queen 
Caroline's  Drawing  room  more  than  a  hundred  years  ago." 1 
But  Thackeray  wrote  when  the  thoroughfare  had,  as  he 
says,  not  materially  altered;  before  the  splendid  stone  offices 
of  banks  and  insurance  offices  arose  in  it ;  before  the  motor 
and  the  taxi  made  the  chariot  and  the  sedan  seem  as  dead 
as  the  dodo ;  before  many  of  the  clubs  that  now  exist 
were  thought  of.  One  or  two  things  may,  however,  even 
now  serve  as  the  alembic  to  one's  fancy,  and  may  so 
operate  on  the  imagination  as  to  cause  us,  for  an  inter- 
space, to  throw  our  minds  back  to  the  days  when  the 
great  Sir  Robert  and  the  masculine-minded  Queen 
Caroline  ruled  the  kingdom  between  them;  when  the 
swarthy  visage  of  Fox  and  the  thin  form  of  Pitt  might 
have  been  seen  in  the  street ;  when  Alvanley  and 
Petersham  splashed  its  mud,  or  Brummell  and  the  Regent 
cut  one  another  on  its  pavement;  when  D'Orsay's  waist- 
coats and  Wellington's  nose  were  familiar  to  its  habitue's, 
and  the  Victorian  era,  with  its  poke-bonnets  and  crinolines, 
its  peg-top  trousers  and  high-lows,  had  replaced  the  hoops 
and  patches,  the  swords  and  wigs  and  silk  stockings  of  an 
earlier  day.  Of  these  things,  the  shop-front  of  Messrs 
Lock,  hatters,  is  one  ;  the  little  turning  known  as  Pickering 
Place  is  another ;  but  the  chief  is,  of  course,  the  Tudor 
front  of  the  Palace,  which,  altered  as  it  has  been,  is  yet 
essentially  the  front  that  looked  down  on  Charles  and 
Rochester  and  Sedley,  on  Queen  Anne  and  her  Augustan 
age,  on  the  Georges  and  their  varied  courts,  on  the  young 
Queen  who  was  to  give  her  name  to  a  longer,  a  greater  and 
a  more  marvellous  age  than  had  any  of  her  predecessors. 
St  James's  Palace  does  not  come  within  the  scope  of 
1  English  Humourists. 


this  book.  Its  history  has  been  already  adequately 
written.  Its  name  has  for  four  centuries  stood  for  the 
pomp  and  circumstance  of  our  sovereignty.  If  its  stones 
could  speak  they  would  hold  us  entranced.  From  the 
days  of  the  burly  Tudor  downwards  the  Court  of  St 
James's  has  been  represented  by  that  picturesque  pile  of 
brick-work.  One  or  two  sights  specially  connected  with 
St  James's  Street  it  could  discourse  on.  It  has  seen 
cannon  placed  on  the  eminence  opposite,  when  Wyatt's 
rebellion  threatened  Queen  Manx's  throne,  and  Lord 
Clinton  stood  in  what  is  now  St  James's  Street,  with  his 
troops  ready  to  guard  the  royal  residence.  Agnes  Strick- 
land thus  records  the  fact:  "On  the  hill  opposite  the 
Palace  gateway  was  planted  a  battery  of  cannon,  guarded 
by  a  strong  squadron  of  horse,  headed  by  Lord  Clinton. 
This  force  extended  from  the  spot  where  Crockford's  club- 
house now  stands  and  Jermyn  Street  ...  no  building 
occupied  at  that  time  the  vicinity  of  the  Palace  excepting 
a  solitary  conduit  standing  where  the  centre  of  St  James's 
Square  is  at  present.  The  whole  area  before  the  gateway 
was  called  St  James's  Fields." 

From  this  attempt  on  the  royal  power  let  us  turn  to  an 
attempt  on  the  liberty  of  a  great  noble.  Surely  St  James's 
Street,  with  all  its  memories,  has  hardly  witnessed  a 
more  incredible  incident  than  that  related  by  Carte,  whose 
version  I  transcribe  verbatim. 

"The  Prince  of  Orange,"  he  writes,  "came  this  year 
(1670)  into  England,  and  being  invited,  on  6th  December, 
to  an  entertainment  in  the  city  of  London,  his  Grace  (the 
Duke  of  Ormond)  attended  him  thither.  As  he  was 
returning  homewards  on  a  dark  night,  and  going  up  St 
James's  Street,  at  the  end  of  which,  facing  the  Palace,  stood 
Clarendon  House,  where  he  then  lived,  he  was  attacked 
by  Blood  and  five  of  his  accomplices.  The  Duke  always 
used  to  go  attended  with  six  footmen.  .  .  .  These  six 


footmen  used  to  walk  three  on  each  side  of  the  street 
over  against  the  coach ;  but,  by  some  contrivance  or 
other,  they  were  all  stopped  and  out  of  the  way  when  the 
Duke  was  taken  out  of  his  coach  by  Blood  and  his  son, 
and  mounted  on  horseback  behind  one  of  the  horsemen 
in  his  company.  The  coachman  drove  on  to  Clarendon 
House  and  told  the  porter  that  the  Duke  had  been  seized 
by  two  men,  who  had  carried  him  down  Piccadilly.  The 
porter  immediately  ran  that  way,  and  Mr  James  Clarke, 
chancing  to  be  at  that  time  in  the  court  of  the  house, 
followed  with  all  possible  haste,  having  first  alarmed 
the  family,  and  ordered  the  servants  to  come  after  him  as 
fast  as  they  could.  Blood,  it  seems,  either  to  gratify  the 
humour  of  his  patron,  who  had  set  him  upon  this  work,  or 
to  glut  his  own  revenge  by  putting  his  Grace  to  the  same 
ignominious  death  which  his  accomplices  in  the  treason- 
able design  upon  Dublin  Castle  had  suffered,  had  taken  a 
strong  fancy  into  his  head  to  hang  the  Duke  at  Tyburn. 
Nothing  could  have  saved  his  Grace's  life  but  the  extrava- 
gant imagination  and  passion  of  the  villain,  who,  leaving 
the  Duke  mounted  and  buckled  to  one  of  his  comrades, 
rode  on  before,  and  (as  is  said)  actually  tied  a  rope  to  the 
gallows,  and  then  rode  back  to  see  what  was  become  of  his 
accomplices,  whom  he  met  riding  off  in  a  great  hurry. 
The  horseman  to  whom  the  Duke  was  tied  was  a  person 
of  great  strength  ;  but,  being  embarrassed  by  his  Grace's 
struggling,  could  not  advance  as  fast  as  he  desired.  He 
was,  however,  got  a  good  way  beyond  Berkeley  (now 
Devonshire)  House,  towards  Knightsbridge,  when  the 
Duke,  having  got  his  foot  under  the  man's,  unhorsed  him, 
and  they  both  fell  down  together  in  the  mud,  where  they 
were  struggling  when  the  porter  and  Mr  Clarke  came  up. 
.  .  .  The  King,  when  he  heard  of  this  intended  assassina- 
tion of  the  Duke  of  Ormond,  expressed  a  great  resentment 
on  that  occasion,  and  issued  out  a  proclamation  for  the 



discovery  and  apprehension  of  the  miscreants  concerned 
in  the  attempt.  V 

After  this,  other  St  James's  Street  incidents  seem 
almost  commonplace;  the  arrest  of  an  ambassador  for 
debt  is  insignificant  compared  with  the  attempted  murder 
of  a  great  noble,  but  such  a  sight  has  been  witnessed  here, 
for  Prince  Metreof,  the  Russian  envoy,  after  attending  the 
Queen's  leve"e  on  27th  July  1707,  and  taking  formal  leave 
of  her  on  being  recalled  to  his  own  country,  was  arrested 
in  St  James's  Street,  on  the  writ  of  a  Mr  Morton,  lace- 
man  of  Covent  Garden,  and  was  carried  off,  with  much 
indignity,  to  a  sponging-house. 

If  the  attack  on  the  Duke  of  Ormond  cannot  be  exactly 
paralleled,  a  not  altogether  dissimilar  circumstance  once 
occurred  in  St  James's  Street  to  no  less  a  person  than  the 
younger  Pitt  some  hundred  and  odd  years  later.  Pitt 
had  been  made  Prime  Minister  in  December  1783,  on  the 
dismissal  of  the  Coalition  Government,  and  in  the  follow- 
ing February  the  Corporation  sent  a  deputation  to  him, 
to  his  brother's  house  in  Berkeley  Square,  in  order  to 
bestow  on  him  the  Freedom  of  the  City.  After  this 
ceremony  the  whole  party  returned  to  the  city,  where 
Pitt  was  engaged  to  dine  at  the  Grocers'  Hall.  The 
progress  to  and,  later,  from  the  city  was  one  continual 
triumph,  but  the  Opposition  party — "The  Friends  of  the 
People,"  as  they  styled  themselves — were  wrought  to  a 
state  of  fury.  It  thus  happened  that  when,  late  at  night, 
a  crowd  of  artisans  was  dragging  the  coach  in  which  sat 
Pitt,  Lord  Chatham,  and  Lord  Mahon,  up  St  James's 
Street,  and  the  procession  had  arrived  before  the  Whig 
stronghold — B rooks 's  club-house — the  vehicle  was  sud- 
denly attacked  by  a  determined  band  of  ruffians,  including, 
it  is  said,  some  members  of  the  club  itself,  armed  with 
sticks  and  bludgeons.  Some  of  the  rioters,  making  their 
way  to  the  carriage,  forced  open  the  doors,  and  actually 



Going  to    WHITES. 


After  a  drawing  l>y  Dighton 


aimed  blows  at  the  Prime  Minister,  which  were  with 
difficulty  warded  off  by  his  companions.  The  servants 
were  much  mauled,  the  carriage  demolished,  and  only 
with  difficulty  could  Pitt,  Chatham,  and  Mahon  reach 
the  shelter  of  White's : 

"  See  the  sad  sequel  of  the  Grocers'  treat, 
Behold  him  darting  up  St  James's  Street, 
Pelted  and  scared  by  Brooks 's  hellish  sprites, 
And  vainly  fluttering  round  the  door  of  White's."1 

Since  those  days  St  James's  Street  has  seen  many  a 
notable  event,  many  a  gorgeous  pageant — proclamations 
before  the  Palace  gateway,  Jubilee  processions,  royal 
wedding  festivities,  the  return  of  famous  leaders  from  suc- 
cessful campaigns,  the  departure  of  troops  to  uphold  the 
honour  of  the  flag  in  distant  lands.  The  thoroughfare  is 
linked  up  with  the  history  of  the  country  by  its  proximity 
to  the  royal  Palace  no  less  than  by  those  centres  of  political 
activity  which  find  their  homes  within  it. 

But  with  all  its  great  memories,  one  or  two  incidents 
seem  to  stand  out — Fox  gaily  chatting  while  his  home 
was  being  rifled ;  the  great  lexicographer  solemnly 
choosing  shoe-buckles,  with,  no  doubt,  the  little  Scots- 
man in  attendance  ;  Byron  awaking  and  finding  himself 
famous,  and  Byron  again,  friendless  and  alone,  going  to 
take  his  seat  in  a  regardless  House  of  Lords. 

You  may  people  St  James's  Street  with  the  great 
men  and  women  of  three  centuries  by  the  help  of  the 
memoirs  and  diaries  which  record  their  doings ;  you 
may  even  reconstruct  its  architectural  outlines  by  the 
help  of  plans  and  elevations ;  with  Gwynn  you  may 
imagine  a  royal  palace  extending  practically  along  the 
whole  west  side  and  cutting  into  the  present  Palace, 

1  The  Rolliad,  ii.  125. 


leaving  nothing  remaining  but  its  picturesque  and  historic 

But,  after  all,  the  street's  most  outstanding  memories 
are  those  connected  with  the  spacious  days  of  the  Regency ; 
with  the  Prince  receiving  his  famous  "cut  "  from  Brum- 
mell ;  with  Brummell  repaying  a  debt  by  giving  his  arm  to 
his  creditor  from  Brooks 's  to  White's  ;  with  Lord  Sefton 
on  his  way  to  the  latter  club,  as  portrayed  by  Deighton, 
or  with  Theodore  Hook  walking  with  squinting  Mr 
Manners  Sutton,  and  forming  the  subject  of  the  sketch 
which  the  famous  H.  B.  entitled  Hook  and  Eye.* 

1  See   Gwynn's  London  and  Westminster  Improved,  where  the 
suggestion  is  made  and  a  plan  of  the  proposed  alteration  given. 

2  Among  innumerable  other  notable  people  of  more  recent  days 
who  have  lodged  temporarily  in  St  James's  Street  mention  may 
be  made  of  Abraham  Hayward  and  George  Meredith  ;   while  I 
find   Isaac   Disraeli  dating   a  letter  to  Lady  Blessington  from 
i  St  James's  Place,  on  5th  February  1838. 




WHEN  the  lines  of  demarcation  separated  Society  in  a  far 
more  arbitrary  manner  than  is  the  case  to-day,  some 
common  ground  on  which  the  sexes  might  meet  became 
almost  a  necessity,  and  the  protagonist  was  forthcoming 
in  a  Heidegger  or  a  Cornelys,  who  administered  to  the 
wants  in  this  direction  of  those  who  were  unwilling  or 
unable  to  provide  them  in  their  own  more  restricted 

What  Nash  did  at  Bath  could  surely  be  as  easily 
accomplished  in  London,  and  forthwith  Soho  Square 
resounded  to  the  strains  of  music  and  the  laughter  and 
chatter  of  an  idle  throng — idle  only  in  one  sense  of  the 
word,  for  such  assemblies  always  had  one  dominant 
underlying  feature:  they  formed  a  matrimonial  market, 
where  buyers  and  sellers  were  as  eager,  and  sometimes 
the  merchandise  as  unsuspecting  and  as  passive,  as  in 
any  other  centre  of  commercial  traffic. 

I  say  one  underlying  feature ;  I  should  have  said  several, 
for  whereas  the  sellers  generally  had  a  single  object  in 
view,  the  buyers  often  had  many — it  might  be  desire  to 
kill  time,  to  do  nothing  worse  than  gossip  and  talk 
scandal,  but  more  frequently  it  was  to  enter  into  those 
intrigues  by  the  number  of  which  and  his  success  in  them 
a  fine  gentleman  of  the  period  gained  that  notoriety  which 
was  then  so  often  mistaken  for  celebrity. 

Under  such  conditions  it  is  not  difficult  to  see  that  balls 
and  masquerades  like  those  which  Madame  Cornelys  and 
others  of  lesser  note  organised  were  doomed,  sooner  or 



later,  to  degenerate  into  assemblies  at  which  the  decent 
found  themselves  out  of  place,  and  even  the  lax  had 
sometimes  occasion  to  raise  their  eyebrows.  But  with 
the  advent  of  the  "Farmer  King,"  manners  and  customs 
gradually  took  on  a  more  sober  tone,  at  least  outwardly, 
and  things  began  to  be  ordered  somewhat  more  decently 
than  before ;  for  if  intrigues  were  indulged  in  as  frequently, 
they  were  not  carried  on  so  openly  as  in  earlier  days. 

At  this  time  Madame  Cornelys — "The  Heidegger  of  the 
age,"  as  Horace  Walpole  calls  her — had  been  carrying 
on  her  establishment  at  Carlisle  House,  in  Soho  Square, 
for  about  ten  years,  and  the  masquerades  held  under  her 
auspices  had  become  notable  for  their  indecency  and 
"mockery  of  solemn  feelings  and  principles";  but  not- 
withstanding the  complaints  of  bishops,  and  the  opposi- 
tion of  rival  establishments,  the  egregious  mistress  of 
the  ceremonies  continued  to  fill  her  rooms  and  her 

But  there  were  signs  of  storms  ahead,  and  one  of  the 
first  to  see  that  profit  might  be  made  out  of  a  rival  establish- 
ment that  should  be  decent  and  select,  as  that  in  Soho  had 
never  really  been,  was  one  Macall,1  a  Scotsman,  who,  to 
hide  his  origin  and  perhaps  also  to  disarm  the  prejudice 
which  Lord  Bute's  unpopularity  had  done  much  to  foster 
against  his  countrymen,  had  inverted  his  name  toAlmack, 
when,  in  1763,  he  started  the  club  in  St  James's  Street, 
which  was  originally  known  as  Almack's,  but  in  latter  days 
became  the  better  known  Brooks 's. 

I  am  not  prepared  to  say  that  William  Almack  ever 
set  up  as  a  regenerator  of  manners ;  indeed,  the  club  he 
founded  soon  won  such  a  character  for  unbounded 
gambling,  "  worthy  the  decline  of  our  Empire,"  according 

1  He  had  married  a  lady's  maid  of  the  Duchess  of  Hamilton, 
and  it  was  the  Duke  of  that  name  who  advised  him  to  call  himself 



to  Walpole,  that  such  an  assertion  would  be  a  contradic- 
tion in  terms ;  but  there  is  no  doubt  that  he  saw  that  the 
day  had  come  when  decorum  and  exclusiveness  were  more 
likely  to  pay  than  a  further  development  (if  that  were 
possible)  of  impropriety.  His  club  had  been  opened  under 
the  auspices  of  such  great  and  influential  ones  as  the  Dukes 
of  Roxburghe  and  Portland,  Lord  Strathmore,  Mr  Crewe, 
and  Charles  James  Fox,  and  with  such  powerful  supporters 
he  thought  rightly  that  he  could  count  on  the  co-operation 
of  the  then  limited  great  world  in  his  new  venture. 

He  selected  the  site  of  his  Assembly  Rooms  well. 
King  Street,  St  James's,  is,  as  all  the  world  knows,  the  link 
between  London's  most  fashionable  street1  and  its  most 
aristocratic  square ;  it  is  within  calling  distance  of  Pall 
Mall,  which  had  then  a  royal  palace  on  each  hand,  and 
in  the  very  centre  of  club-land. 

In  the  sixties  of  the  eighteenth  century  it  was  still  more 
the  heart  of  fashion's  particular  region  than  it  is  to-day, 
when  Mayfair  more  than  vies  with  St  James's,  and 
Marylebone  almost  vies  with  both. 

The  spot  chosen  by  Almack  was  that  immediately  to  the 
east  of  Pall  Mall  Place,2  and  in  1764  the  erection  of  his 
"rooms  "  was  begun,  Robert  Mylne  being  the  builder. 

Mrs  Harris,  writing  to  her  son,  afterwards  Earl  of 
Malmesbury,  on  5th  April  1764,  refers  to  the  erection  of 
the  buildings:  "Almack  is  going  to  build  most  magnifi- 
cent rooms  behind  his  house,3  one  much  larger  than  at 
Carlisle  House." 

1 1  may  remind  the  reader  that  not  till  1830  was  the  street 
carried  through  to  St  James's  Street ;  before  then  only  a  narrow 
court  gave  access  to  it,  which  must  have  caused  great  inconvenience 
to  carriages  setting  down  at  Almack's. 

2  Attached  to  the  original  lease  is  a  ground  plan  of  the  property 
acquired  by  Almack. 

3  Referring  to  Almack's  Club  in  Pall  Mall.     The  Marlborough 
Club  now  occupies  its  site. 



There  is  no  doubt  that  the  project  made  some  stir  at 
the  time,  especially  among  the  fashionable  world,  which 
was  more  or  less  dependent  on  Carlisle  House  for  at  least 
its  indoor  amusements  ;  and  the  mistress  of  that  establish- 
ment viewed  with  some  apprehension  the  rising  of  this 
— .  new  star;  indeed,  we  find  Walpole  writing,  on  16th 
December  1764,  and  stating  that  "Mrs  Cornelys,  appre- 
hending the  future  assembly  at  Almack's,  has  enlarged 
her  vast  room,  and  hung  it  with  blue  satin,  and  another 
with  yellow  satin  ";  "but,"  he  adds,  "Almack's  room, 
which  is  to  be  90  feet  long,  proposes  to  swallow  up  both 
hers,  as  easily  as  Moses's  rod  gobbled  down  those  of  the 

It  was  quite  obvious  that  there  would  be  a  severe 
contest  for  supremacy  between  the  rival  assembly  rooms, 
Mrs  Cornelys  relying  on  her  already  established  vogue,  and 
also  on  the  various  improvements  she  from  time  to  time 
carried  out,  and,  above  all,  on  the  influence  of  her  clientele, 
who,  perhaps,  were  not  averse  from  the  licence  she  per- 
mitted ;  Almack,  on  the  other  hand,  looking  to  the 
novelty  of  his  venture,  its  more  central  situation,  and  the 
disgust  of  many  at  the  mixed  nature  of  the  assemblies  in 
Soho  Square,  to  enable  him  to  compete  successfully  with 

The  Scotsman  also  evolved  another  masterly  stroke  of 
policy  :  his  rooms  were  to  be  under  the  management  of 
a  committee  of  ladies  of  high  rank,  and  the  only  possible 
way  of  gaining  admission  to  them  was  to  be  by  vouchers 
or  by  personal  introduction.  This  was,  indeed,  to  kill 
two  birds  with  one  stone,  for  it  not  only  gave  some  of 
the  most  influential  members  of  the  ton  a  personal  and 
almost  despotic  influence  in  the  management,  but  it  also 
furnished  an  added  zest  when  it  was  recognised  that  the 
difficulty  of  admittance  was  only  to  be  equalled  by  the 
kudos  to  be  gained  by  being  admitted. 


At  length  Almack's  new  building  was  opened,  on  12th 
February  1765,  but,  in  spite  of  the  presence  of  a  royal 
Duke,  not  under  the  most  promising  conditions.  Horace 
Walpole's  account  of  the  event,  contained  in  a  letter  to 
Lord  Hertford,  is  dated  two  days  later : 

"The  new  Assembly  Room  at  Almack's  was  opened 
the  night  before  last,  and  they  say  is  very  magnificent,  but 
it  was  empty ;  half  the  town  is  ill  with  colds  and  many 
were  afraid  to  go,  as  the  house  is  scarcely  built  yet. 
Almack  advertised  that  it  was  built  with  hot  bricks  and 
boiling  water  :  think  what  a  rage  there  must  be  for  public 
places  if  this  notice,  instead  of  terrifying,  could  draw 
everybody  thither.  They  tell  me  the  ceilings  were 
dripping  with  wet ;  but  can  you  believe  me  when  I  assure 
you  that  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  was  there  ?  nay,  had 
a  leve"e  in  the  morning  and  went  to  the  Opera  before  the 
Assembly.  There  is  a  vast  flight  of  steps,  and  he  was 
forced  to  rest  two  or  three  times.1  When  he  dies  of  it — 
and  how  should  he  not  ? — it  will  sound  very  silly,  when 
Hercules  or  Theseus  ask  him  what  he  died  of,  to  reply, 
'I  caught  my  death  on  a  damp  staircase  at  a  new 

In  this  letter  further  details  are  given  with  regard  to 
the  rooms,  which  consisted  of  "three  very  elegant  "  ones. 
The  subscription  was  ten  guineas,  "  for  which  you  have  a 
ball  and  supper  once  a  week  for  twelve  weeks. "  "You 
may  imagine,"  continues  the  writer,  "by  the  sum,  the 
company  is  chosen  ;  though,  refined  as  it  is,  it  will  be 
scarce  able  to  put  old  Soho  out  of  countenance.  The 
men's  tickets  are  not  transferable,  so,  if  the  ladies  do 
not  like  us,  they  have  no  opportunity  of  changing  us,  but 
must  see  the  same  persons  for  ever." 

Notwithstanding  such  fears,  the  place  "caught  on,"  as 
we  should  now  express  it,  from  the  very  first,  and  Gilly 
1  Jesse's  Selwyn  and  his  Contemporaries,  vol.  i.,  p.  360. 


Williams,  in  a  subsequent  letter  to  his  friend,  written  in 
the  following  March,  thus  records  its  progress : 

"Our  female  Almack's  flourishes  beyond  description. 
If  you  had  such  a  thing  at  Paris,  you  would  fill  half  a 
quire  of  flourished  paper  with  the  description  of  it. 
Almack's  Scotch  face,  in  a  bag- wig,  waiting  at  supper, 
would  divert  you,  as  would  his  lady  in  a  sack,  making  tea 
and  curtseying  to  the  duchesses." 

The  Assembly  Rooms,  once  set  going,  were  not  long  in 
getting  firmly  established.  The  letters  of  the  period  are 
the  best  criterion  of  this,  and  the  writers  wax  eloquent 
over  the  entertainments,  and  set  down,  with  evident 
unction,  the  names  and  titles  of  those  who  graced  Almack's 

Thus  Selwyn,  writing  to  Lord  Carlisle  on  15th 
January  1768,  gives  us  this  vignette:  "Almack's  was 
last  night  very  full ;  Lady  Anne  and  Lady  Betty  were 
there  with  Lady  Carlisle.  The  Duke  of  Cumberland  sat 
between  Lady  Betty  and  Lady  Sarah,  who  was  his 
partner.  Lady  Sarah,  your  sister,  and  His  R(oyal) 
H(ighness)  did  nothing  but  dance  cotillons  in  the  new 
blue  damask  room,  which  by  the  way  was  intended  for 
cards.  The  Duchess  of  Gordon  made  her  first  appearance 
there,  who  is  very  handsome ;  so  the  beauty  of  the 
former  night,  Lady  Almeria  Carpenter,  was  the  less 

This  extract  is  of  particular  interest,  for  besides  inform- 
ing us  that  Almack  had  already  found  it  necessary  to 
enlarge  his  rooms  by  the  addition  of  a  "blue  damask 
room,"  thus  indicating  increased  patronage,  it  introduces 
us  to  some  of  those  who  shed  lustre  and  "  rained  influence  " 

The  Ladies  Anne  and  Betty  were  Lord  Carlisle's  sisters, 
the  Lady  Carlisle  being  his  mother,  who  was  the  daughter 
of  that  4th  Lord  Byron  whose  duel  with  Mr  Chaworth, 



and  subsequent  trial,  in  1765,  formed  one  of  the  sensations 
of  the  day. 

The  Duke  of  Cumberland  is  not,  of  course,  to  be  con- 
founded with  the  "Butcher  of  Culloden,"  whom  we  have 
seen  "  assisting  "  at  the  opening  of  Almack's.  This  Duke 
was  that  notoriously  dissipated  brother  of  George  III. 
who,  "  though  not  tall,  did  not  want  beauty,"  as  Walpole 
says,  and  who  married,  in  1771,  Mrs  Horton,  much  to  the 
disgust  of  his  royal  relative.  Here  we  find  him  "dancing 
cotillons"  with  "Lady  Sarah,"  who  was  no  other  than 
the  celebrated  Lady  Sarah  Lennox,  for  whom  his  Majesty 
had  a  tendre,  and  whom,  had  he  had  a  will  of  his  own  then, 
he  would  have  made  his  Queen.  Others  were  in  love  with 
that  beautiful  creature,  Selwyn's  friend  and  correspondent, 
Lord  Carlisle,  among  them  ;  but  the  lady  who  might  have 
shared  a  throne  consoled  herself  with  a  baronet,  Sir 
Charles  Bunbury,  chiefly  notable  for  his  racing  pro- 
clivities, from  whom  she  was  divorced  in  1776. 1 

The  Duchess  of  Gordon,  whom  Walpole  called  "  one  of 
the  empresses  of  fashion,"  was  one  of  Pitt's  few  intimate 
friends,  and  stood  to  the  Tory  Party  in  somewhat  the 
same  relation  as  the  Duchess  of  Devonshire  did  to  the 
Whigs.  Famous  for  her  beauty,  she  seems,  in  Selwyn's 
eyes  at  least,  to  have  eclipsed  another  lovely  woman, 
Lady  Almeria  Carpenter,  who,  like  Lady  Suffolk  at  an 
earlier  date,  combined  the  functions  of  lady-in-waiting  to 
a  royal  lady  (in  this  case  the  Duchess  of  Gloucester)  with 
those  of  mistress  to  that  lady's  lawful  lord ! 

In  the  following  month  Selwyn  has  again  a  reference 
to  Almack's,2  when  he  writes  that:  "Lady  S(arah)  is  in 

1  She  afterwards  married  George  Napier,  and  was  the  mother  of 
Sir  Charles,  Sir  George,  and  Sir  William  Napier,  all  notable  men  in 
their  day. 

2  His  references  to  the  club  of  the  same  name  are,  of  course, 



town,  and  I  suppose  very  happy  with  the  thoughts  of  a 
mascarade  which  we  are  to  have  at  Almack's  next  Monday 
sevennight,  unless  in  the  interim  some  violent  opposition 
comes  from  the  Bishops." 

The  last  paragraph  was  but  too  prophetic ;  the  hierarchy 
were  unpropitious,  and  ten  days  later  Selwyn  informs 
Carlisle  that  "the  Bishops  have,  as  I  apprehended  that 
they  would,  put  a  stop  to  our  masquerade,  for  which  I  am 
sorry,  principally  upon  Lady  Sarah's  account.  I  shall  go 
this  morning  and  condole  with  her  upon  it. ' ' 

It  will  be  remembered  that  a  few  years  later  the  bishops 
opposed  a  similar  entertainment  at  Carlisle  House,  and  the 
Bishop  of  London  even  remonstrated  with  the  King,  but 
Mrs  Cornelys  was  apparently  less  sensitive  to  ecclesiastical 
and  royal  displeasure  than  Almack,  and  her  masquerade 
was  held,  when  lo !  the  wives  of  four  of  the  bishops  were 
present ! 

Although  the  later  development  of  Almack's,  or  perhaps 
one  should  say  its  restriction,  to  an  assembly  room  for 
dances  of  the  most  select  kind  has  given  its  very  name  a 
merely  Terpsichorean  signification,  it  must  be  remembered 
that  during  its  earlier  days  it  was  besides  this  really  a 
sort  of  ladies'  club,1  such  as  are  nowadays  common  enough. 
Indeed,  the  two  things  were  coterminous,  at  least  for  a 
time ;  and  while  cotillons  were  being  danced  in  the  great 
room,  money  was  being  gambled  away  in  other  parts  of  the 
building  with  an  energy  that  might  have  even  surprised 
Crockford's,  and  a  constancy  that  was  hardly  surpassed 
at  White's. 

Mrs  Boscawen  once  wrote  to  her  friend,  Mrs  Delany, 
a  somewhat  minute  account  of  the  modus  vivendi  here: 

1  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,  who  was  anxious  to  become  a  member 
of  Almack's,  is  found  attending  the  Ladies'-  Club  there  in  1771, 
where  nearly  all  the  habitues  were  at  one  time  or  another  his 



"The  female  club  I  told  you  of  is  removed  from  their 
quarters,"  she  says,  "Lady  Pembroke  objecting  to  a 
tavern ;  it  meets,  therefore,  for  the  present  at  certain 
rooms  of  Almack's,  who  for  another  year  is  to  provide  a 
private  house.  .  .  .  The  first  fourteen  who  imagined  and 
planned  it  settled  its  rules  and  constitutions.  These  were 
formed  upon  the  model  of  one  of  the  clubs  at  Almack's. 
There  are  seventy-five  chosen  (the  whole  number  is  to 
be  two  hundred).  The  ladies  nominate  and  choose  the 
gentlemen  and  vice  versa,  so  that  no  lady  can  exclude 
a  lady,  or  gentleman  a  gentleman !  The  Duchess  of 
Bedford  was  at  first  blackballed,  but  is  since  admitted. 
Duchess  of  Grafton  and  of  Marlborough  are  also  chosen. 
Lady  Hertford  wrote  to  beg  admittance  and  has  obtained 
it ;  also  Lady  Holderness,  Lady  Rochford  are  black- 
balled, as  is  Lord  March,  Mr  Boothby,  and  one  or  two 
more  who  think  themselves  pretty  gentlemen  du  premier 
ordre,  but  it  is  plain  the  ladies  are  not  of  their  opinion. 
Lady  Molineux  has  accepted,  but  the  Duchess  of  Beaufort 
has  declined,  as  her  health  never  permits  her  to  sup  abroad. 
When  any  of  the  ladies  dine  with  the  Society  they  are 
to  send  word  before,  but  supper  comes  of  course,  and  is 
to  be  served  always  at  eleven.  Play  will  be  deep  and 
constant  probably. " 

The  Duchess  of  Bedford,  against  whom  someone 
apparently  had  a  grievance,  was  the  second  wife  of  the 
4th  Duke— "the  little  Duke,"  Walpole  calls  him— and 
before  her  marriage,  Lady  Gertrude  Leveson-Gower, 
daughter  of  John,  Earl  Gower.  One  wonders  if  the  cause 
of  her  Grace's  rejection  when  she  was  first  proposed  had 
anything  to  do  with  her  connection  with  the  marriage  of 
the  Duke  of  Marlborough  and  Lady  Caroline  Russell. 
We  certainly  know,  from  Lord  Holland's  reminiscences,1 
that  she  used  all  sorts  of  "mean  and  unbecoming  artifices 
1  Life  and  Letters  of  Lady  Sarah  Lennox,  vol.  i.,  p.  72. 


to  bring  this  match  on,  and  which  she  had  so  little  pride  as 
to  use  in  publick  too,  exposing  herself  to  the  ridicule  of  the 
whole  world,"  and  also  that  the  Duke  saw  through  them 
and  "spoke  to  her  Grace  always  with  the  utmost  scorn 
and  derision,  sometimes  with  detestation."  Perhaps  his 
Grace  did  not  care  about  meeting  his  mother-in-law 
oftener  than  need  be,  and  so  endeavoured  to  compass 
her  exclusion,  especially  as  his  wife  was  one  of  the  first 
members  of  the  Society  ! 

The  Duchess  of  Grafton  was  the  first  wife  of  the  3rd 
Duke,  but  was  divorced  from  him  in  1769 ;  before  her 
marriage  she  had  been  the  Hon.  Anne  Liddell,  daughter 
and  heiress  of  Henry,  Lord  Ravensworth.  Lady  Sarah 
Bunbury  calls  her  "one  of  the  coarsest  brown  women  "  she 
ever  knew,  and  informs  Lady  Susan  O'Brien  that  on  their 
divorce  the  Duke  allowed  her  £3000  a  year,  and  that  they 
put  it  about,  as  the  reason  for  their  parting,  that  "their 
tempers  don't  suit."  The  Duchess  afterwards  married 
the  Earl  of  Upper  Ossory,  an  intrigue  with  whom  was 
the  real  cause  of  the  divorce.  Three  days  after  this  event 
she  was  legally  joined  to  her  lover,  and  the  story  goes  that 
the  day  before  the  Bill  for  the  Divorce  was  passed  in  the 
House  of  Lords  she  wrote  a  letter  which  she  signed  "Anne 
Grafton  " ;  added  to  it  the  next  day,  and  to  this  post- 
script appended  her  old  signature  of  Anne  Liddell ;  but 
did  not  send  off  the  letter  till  she  had  again  become  a  wife, 
when  she  concluded  it  with  her  new  name,  "Anne 
Ossory  " ;  a  circumstance  which  gave  rise  to  the  well- 
known  lines : 

"  No  grace  but  Graf  ton's  grace  so  soon, 
So  strangely  could  convert  a  sinner  ; 
Duchess  at  morn  and  Miss  at  noon, 
And  Upper  Ossory  after  dinner." 

Lady  Ossory  was,  as  all  the  world  knows,  one  of  Wai- 
pole's  correspondents ;  Lady  Hertford  was  another  of  his 



friends,  being  the  wife  of  his  kinsman,  the  1st  Earl  of 
Hertford.  As  she  was  the  daughter  of  the  2nd  Duke  of 
Grafton,  she  was  aunt  of  the  3rd  Duke,1  about  whose 
Duchess's  eccentricities  we  have  just  been  reading. 

Lady  Holderness,  wife  of  the  4th  Earl,  was  a  foreigner, 
being  the  daughter  of  Sieur  Doublet,  a  Dutch  nobleman ; 
while  Lady  Rochford  was  the  wife  of  the  4th  Earl  of 
Rochford,  and  the  Duchess  of  Beaufort,  the  daughter  of 
John  Syme  Berkeley,  and  sister  and  heiress  of  Baron 
Botetourt,  through  whom  this  title  came  to  the  Somerset 
family,  she  having  married  the  4th  Duke  of  Beaufort 
in  1740. 

So  much  for  the  noble  ladies  who  first  held  the  destinies 
of  Almack's  in  their  hands. 

The  Lord  March  who  was  blackballed  was  the  after- 
wards notorious  "Old  Q,"  and  Mr  Boothby,  who  experi- 
enced a  similar  fate,  was  a  member  of  Almack's  Club, 
where,  as  Selwyn  once  put  it,  he  used  to  lose  his  £300 
a  night  regularly ! 

Notwithstanding  the  patronage  of  half  the  nobility, 
Almack  was  not  above  recognising  the  uses  of  advertise- 
ment, and  thus  we  find  one  of  his  perennial  notices  in 
The  Advertiser  of  12th  November  1768,  as  follows : — 

"  Mr  Almack  humbly  begs  leave  to  acquaint  the  nobility 
and  gentry,  subscribers  to  the  Assembly  in  King  Street, 
St  James's,  that  the  first  meeting  will  be  Thursday,  24th 
inst.  N.B. — Tickets  are  ready  to  be  delivered  at  the 
Assembly  Room." 

Two  years  later  Horace  Walpole,  writing  to  George 

Montagu,  refers  to  the  female  club  established  here  as 

distinct  from  the  assemblies  for  dancing  with  which  the 

name  of  Almack's  is  chiefly  associated.     "  There  is  a  new 

Institution  that  begins  to  make,  and  if  it  proceeds  will 

make,  considerable  noise,"  he  says.     "It  is  a  club  of  both 

1  He  was  grandson  of  the  2nd  Duke. 



sexes  to  be  erected  at  Almack's,  on  the  model  of  that  of 
the  men  at  White's.  Mrs  Fitzroy,  Lady  Pembroke,  Mrs 
Meynell,  Lady  Molyneux,  Miss  Pelham  and  Miss  Lloyd  are 
the  foundresses.  I  am  ashamed  to  say  I  am  of  so  young 
and  fashionable  society ;  but  as  they  are  people  I  live 
with,  I  choose  to  be  idle  rather  than  morose.  I  can  go  to 
a  young  supper  without  forgetting  how  much  sand  is  run 
out  of  the  hour-glass." 

Horace  was  nothing  if  not  "fashionable,"  and  never  so 
much  so  as  when  he  affects  to  disdain  the  usages  of  the 
monde,  and  winds  up  an  account  of  his  gay  doings  with 
some  truly  Horatian  moralisings ;  and  here  we  find  him 
a  little  ashamed  of  his  frolics,  but  excusing  himself  on  the 
plea  that  those  with  whom  he  revels  are  those  with  whom 
he  lives,  quite  in  the  Walpolian  manner. 

As  Almack's,  when  first  started,  had  threatened  to 
extinguish  Mrs  Cornelys'  entertainments,  so  both  these 
rivals  were  destined  to  receive  a  severe  blow  at  the  hands 
of  a  common  enemy,  in  the  shape  of  The  Pantheon,  which 
was  opened  in  Oxford  Street,  in  1772,  and  formed  the  chief 
social  sensation  of  that  year.  Its  proportions  far  ex- 
ceeded those  of  the  establishments  in  St  James's  or  Soho. 
There  were,  indeed,  no  less  than  fourteen  rooms,  not 
including  the  Rotunda,  and  at  the  opening  on  27th 
January  it  is  estimated  that  there  were  two  thousand 
persons  gathered  together  within  its  walls.  No  wonder 
Walpole  called  it  "a  winter  Ranelagh."  Mrs  Delany, 
describing  it  from  hearsay  at  the  tune  of  its  opening, 
records  that  "the  lighting  and  the  brilliant  eclat  on  going 
in  was  beyond  all  description,  and  the  going  in  and  out 
made  so  easy  by  lanes  of  constables  that  there  was  not  the 
least  confusion." 

The  Pantheon  was  burnt  down  just  twenty  years  after 
it  had  been  inaugurated,  and  though  it  was  rebuilt  some 
years  later,  its  subsequent  uses  were  of  a  varied  kind  and 



such  as  not  greatly  to  interfere  with  Almack's.  There  is 
no  doubt,  however,  that  during  the  time  of  its  prosperity  it 
formed  a  very  serious  rival  to  the  older  establishment,  and 
although  the  latter  continued  to  attract  a  certain  select 
(if  I  may  use  the  word  in  this  connection)  few,  yet  the 
larger  area,  more  elaborate  decorations  and  lighting,  and, 
above  all,  the  novelty  of  the  winter  Ranelagh,  made  it  a 
very  formidable  rival. 

But  the  early  years  of  the  new  century  were  to  witness 
a  recrudescence  of  Almack's  popularity ;  and,  indeed,  it 
was  to  enter  on  a  more  prosperous  period  than  it  had  ever 
before  enjoyed. 



1 — 
IN  this  second  phase  of  Almack's  history  that  portion  of 

its  constitution  which  has  been  referred  to  as  the  female 
club  gradually  died  out,  as  did  the  extensive  gambling 
that  had  become  associated  with  it,  and  the  rooms  soon 
came  to  be  entirely  given  over  to  dances  and  assemblies. 

One  characteristic,  however,  clung  to  Almack's,  not- 
withstanding these  altered  conditions :  perhaps  because 
of  them  it  was,  if  possible,  more  select,  more  closely 
guarded,  more  haul  ton  than  ever  before,  and  in  the  history 
of  despotism  a  chapter  on  the  uncompromising  nature  of 
its  rules  and  the  autocratic  bearing  of  its  patronesses  might 
not  inaptly  find  a  place. 

The  lady  patronesses  of  Almack's  during  the  second 
great  phase  of  its  ascendancy,  as,  in  a  lesser  degree,  during 
its  first  burst  of  prosperity,  carried  matters— to  say  with 
a  high  hand  seems  almost  inadequate — shall  I  write,  with 
a  clenched  fist  ? 

The  laws  of  the  Medes  and  Persians  found  themselves 
figuring  in  a  great  nineteenth-century  revival,  and  it  is 
safe  to  say  that  no  personal  authority,  no  special  endow- 
ments, no  wealth  or  influence,  outside  the  magic  circle, 
could  avail  if  those  who  possessed  these  attributes 
attempted  to  break  through  the  iron-bound  rules  of 
Almack's.  The  memoirs  and  letters  of  the  period  are  full 
of  references  to  the  rooms  in  King  Street  and  to  those 
who  ruled  over  their  destinies ;  but  of  all  these  authori- 
ties Captain  Gronow  is  the  most  circumstantial,  and, 



inasmuch  as  he  was  both  in  and  of  the  world  he  writes 
about,  the  most  reliable.  Let  us  see  what  he  has  to  say 
of  these  matters  in  the  year  of  grace  1814. 

"At  the  present  time,"  he  writes,  "one  can  hardly 
conceive  the  importance  which  was  attached  to  getting 
admission  to  Almack's,  the  seventh  heaven  of  the  fashion- 
able world  ";  and  he  adds  that  only  a  paltry  half-dozen 
of  the  Guards'  officers,  out  of  some  three  hundred,  "  were 
honoured  with  vouchers  of  admission  to  this  exclusive 

What  heart-burnings,1  what  impotent  rage,  "what 
wild  ecstasy  "  of  fury,  must  have  alternated  in  the  breasts 
of  those  peris  shut  out  from  the  paradise  of  Almack's. 

"Many  diplomatic  arts,  much  finesse  and  a  host  of 
intrigues  were  set  in  motion  to  get  an  invitation,"  says 
Gronow,  continuing  the  wondrous  tale,  and  there  was 
no  chance  here  of  emulating  the  daring  impudence  of 
Brummell,  who  once  appeared  at  an  evening  party  un- 
invited, but  safe  in  the  knowledge  that  the  host  and 
hostess  were  not  on  speaking  terms  and  would  each 
suppose  that  the  other  had  asked  him.  No ;  here  the 
two-handed  engine  at  the  door,  in  the  shape  of  a  lynx-eyed 
Cerberus  in  livery,  would  permit  of  no  one  entering  without 
the  cardboard  sop  !  And  not  only  were  those  who  had 
no  ticket  excluded ;  matters  of  dress  regulation  were  as 
strictly  enforced  as  at  a  State  function. 

The  Duke  of  Wellington,  then  probably  the  most 
popular,  as  he  certainly  was  the  greatest,  man  in  England, 
once  appeared  at  those  portals  armed  with  voucher  and 
all  necessary  credentials,  but,  horrible  to  relate,  in  trousers 
instead  of  knee-breeches — in  black  trousers,  which  had 
been  strictly  forbidden  by  the  committee  sitting  in  solemn 
conclave  !  Whereupon  he  in  authority :  "  Your  Grace 

1  The  Hon.  Grantley  Berkeley  says  this  "  female  oligarchy  was 
less  in  number,  but  equal  in  power  to  the  Venetian  Council  of  Ten." 
O  209 



cannot  be  admitted  in  trousers,"  and  the  Duke,  "who 
had  a  great  respect  for  orders  and  regulations,"  turned 
away,  probably  with  a  grim  smile  playing  at  the  corners 
of  his  firm  mouth. 

It  reminds  one  of  the  horror  of  the  Court  Chamberlain 
who  discovered  Dumouriez  almost  on  the  verge  of  enter- 
ing the  royal  presence  with  bows  instead  of  buckles  to  his 
shoes  ! 

No  wonder  a  contemporary  observer x  could  write  that 
"  At  Almack's,  in  1814,  the  rules  were  very  strict  ";  while 
a  contributor  to  The  New  Monthly  Magazine,  for  ten 
years  later,  remarks,  after  mentioning  that  the  nights  of 
meeting  were  confined  to  every  Wednesday  during  the 
season:  "This  is  selection  with  a  vengeance,  the  very 
quintessence  of  aristocracy.  Three-fourths  of  the  nobility 
knock  in  vain  for  admission.  Into  this  sanctum  sanctorum, 
of  course,  the  sons  of  commerce  never  think  of  entering 
on  the  sacred  Wednesday  evenings." 

At  this  period,  however,  a  certain  laxity  began  to  be 

observable,   for  from   the   same   source   we    learn    that 

"  Into  this  very  '  blue  chamber,'  in  the  absence  of  the  six 

necromancers  (i.e.  the  lady  patronesses),  have  the  votaries 

—_  of  trade  contrived  to  intrude  themselves." 

But  we  are  not  yet  concerned  with  the  gradual  decad- 
ence of  Almack's  ;  at  the  period  to  which  we  are  just  now 
casting  back  our  gaze  it  was  at  the  very  summit  of  its 
power  and  exclusiveness.  Let  us  turn  once  again  to 
Gronow  for  a  confirmation  of  this  : 

"Very  often  persons  whose  rank  and  fortunes  entitled 
them  to  the  entree  anywhere  were  excluded  by  the  cliquism 
of  the  lady  patronesses,"  says  he,  "  for  the  female  govern- 
ment of  Almack's  was  a  pure  despotism  and  subject  to  all 
the  caprices  of  despotic  rule.     It  is  needless  to  add  that, 
like  every  other  despotism,  it  was  not  innocent  of  abuses." 
1  Lady  Clementina  Davies,  in  her  Recollections  of  Society. 


That  was  just  it:  its  strength  and  its  weakness  lay 
equally  in  the  unassailable  character  of  its  decrees ;  it 
was  a  Veremgericht  from  which  there  was  no  appeal ;  and 
those  who  directed  its  destinies  would  have  been  some- 
what more  than  human  had  they  been  able  to  eliminate 
from  their  verdicts  all  trace  of  partiality.  It  was  so  easy 
to  make  their  position  a  vehicle  for  personal  recrimina- 
tion ;  and  it  says  something  for  the  inherent  good  nature 
of  the  patronesses  that  no  flagrant  case  of  petty  tyranny 
seems  ever  to  have  been  brought  home  to  them. 

Who  were  those  who  exercised  this  despotic  power  ? 
What,  beyond  the  kudos  of  being  of  it,  were  the  attractions 
in  this  nineteenth-century  Hall  of  Eblis  ? 

In  the  year  1814  the  lady  patronesses  were  Lady 
Castlereagh  and  Princess  Esterhazy,  Lady  Cowper  and 
Lady  Jersey,  Mrs  Drummond  Burrell,  afterwards  Lady 
Willoughby  de  Eresby,  Lady  Sefton  and  the  Countess, 
later  Princess,  Lieven. 

I  shall  have  more  to  say  about  these  grandes  dames  in 
the  following  chapter,  but  I  may  note  here  that,  according 
to  Gronow,  the  most  popular  of  them  was  Lady  Cowper, 
who  afterwards  became  Lady  Palmerston ;  that  Lady 
Jersey  sometimes  made  herself  "simply  ridiculous  "  with 
her  tragedy-queen  airs  and  was  not  infrequently  ill-bred 
in  her  manners ;  that  Lady  Sefton  was  kind  and  the 
Countess  Lieven  haughty ;  and  that  Lady  Castlereagh 
and  Mrs  Drummond  Burrell  were  altogether  too  grandes 
dames  to  be  anything  but  picturesque  and  exclusive 

If  we  glance  for  a  moment  at  the  "  internal  economy  " 
of  the  rooms  we  shall  find  that  at  first  the  amusements 
were  what  would  now  be  regarded  as  painfully  insular,  so 
far,  at  least,  as  the  Terpsichorean  art  was  concerned,  the 
dances  being  confined  to  Scotch  reels  and  what  Gronow 
calls  "the  old  English  country  dance,"  which  by  the  by, 



is  merely  a  rendering  of  the  French  contredanse,  and  had 
nothing  essentially  bucolic  about  it;  these  dances  being 
under  the  direction  of  the  famous  Neil  Gow,1  the  Scottish 

It  was  not  long,  however,  before  a  change  took  place 
in  this  respect.  In  1815,  a  year  famous,  it  may  be 
remembered,  for  other  things,  Lady  Jersey,  returning 
from  Paris,  brought  with  her  the  "quadrille."  This  was 
an  event  indeed,  and  Gronow,  full  of  enthusiasm  for  the 
dance  which,  as  he  rightly  says,  "so  long  remained 
popular,"  gives  the  names  of  those  who  took  part  in  the 
first  one  ever  executed  in  England. 

Of  course  Lady  Jersey  was  one  of  the  protagonists,  and 
she  was  supported  by  Lady  Susan  Ryder,  Miss  Mont- 
gomery and  Lady  Harriet  Butler  ;  while  the  men  engaged 
in  the  contest  were  the  Count  St  Aldegonde  (whose  name 
always  sounds  as  if  it  had  been  culled  from  one  of  Disraeli's 
novels),  Mr  Montagu,  Mr  Montgomery 2  and  Mr  Charles 

Although  Gronow  is  thus  specific  in  recording  the  names 
of  those  who,  according  to  him,  danced  the  very  first 
quadrille  in  this  country,  yet  in  the  volume  in  which  he 
makes  this  statement  is  given  an  illustration,  taken  from 
a  French  print,  which  is  supposed  to  represent  Lady 
Jersey,  Lady  Worcester,  Lord  Worcester  and  Clanronald 
Macdonald3  "dancing  the  first  quadrille  "  there  ! 

If  the  advent  of  the  "  quadrille  "  was  an  incident,  that 
of  the  waltz  was  an  event.  Byron  has  sung  the  dance,  as 
we  all  know,  and  what  he  says  of  it  makes  us  the  less  to 

1Born  at  Inver,  Perthshire,  22nd  March  1725,  and  died  there 
ist  March  1807. 

2  One  of  the  stewards  of  Alraack's,  and  a  member  of  the  coterie 
of  the  Dandies. 

8  Macdonald  of  Clanronald  married  a  daughter  of  Lord  Mount 
Edgecumbe,  in  1812,  and  was  thus  brother-in-law  of  Lady  Brown- 
low,  whose  Reminiscences  of  a  Septuagenarian  appeared  in  1867. 



wonder  when  Gronow  affirms  that  "there  were  com- 
paratively few  who  at  first  ventured  to  whirl  round  the 
salons  of  Almack's." 

But  use  reconciles ;  and  indeed  there  were,  at  least  in 
the  earlier  methods  of  dancing  it,  other  things  that  easily 

When  the  first  blush  of  strangeness  had  passed  away, 
the  waltz  became  the  thing,  and  one  of  the  earliest  to  be 
seen  "  describing  infinite  circles  "  round  the  great  room 
at  Almack's  was  "  that  laughing  philosopher,  gallant  and 
gay,"  Lord  Palmerston,  with  the  haughty  Princess  Lieven 
in  his  arms.  Others  followed,  and,  according  to  Gronow, 
"Baron  de  Neumann  was  frequently  seen  perpetually 
turning  with  the  Princess  Esterhazy ;  and,  in  course  of 
time,  the  waltzing  mania,  having  turned  the  heads  of 
Society  generally,  descended  to  their  feet,  and  the  waltz 
was  practised  in  the  morning  in  certain  noble  mansions 
in  London  with  unparalleled  assiduity." 

Raikes  l  is  eloquent  on  the  introduction  of  the  waltz  hi 
this  country,  which,  by  the  by,  he  places  two  years  earlier 
than  Gronow.  "  What  scenes  have  we  witnessed  in  those 
days  at  Almack's,"  writes  he.  "  What  fear  and  trembling 
in  the  debutantes  at  the  commencement  of  a  waltz,  what 
giddiness  and  confusion  at  the  end  !  "  2 

The  ingenuous  diarist  opines  that  it  was  probably  the 
latter  circumstance  which  accounted  for  the  violent 
opposition  that  soon  arose  against  the  measure;  but 
readers  of  Byron  and  of  Sheridan's  well-known  lines  will 

1  Diary,  vol.  ii.,  p.  240. 

2  As  with  the  quadrille,  so  with  the  waltz,  there  is  some  dis- 
crepancy between  the  various  dates  given  of   its  introduction : 
thus,  according    to  the  volume  on   Dancing  in  the    Badminton 
Library,  the   introducer  was   Princess   Lieven  in  1816,  whereas 
Raikes   gives  it  as  1813,  and    Gronow  about    1815.     Anyhow,  it 
seems  certain  that  the  credit  of  its  introduction  was  due  to  the 
Princess  Lieven. 



be  ready  to  account  for  this  antagonism  by  another 

There  is  no  doubt  that  many  considered  it  altogether 
immoral;  "the  anti- waltzing  party  took  the  alarm,  cried 
it  down ;  mothers  forbade  it ;  and  every  ballroom  became 
the  scene  of  feud  and  contention." 

Baron  Tripp,  a  great  dancer,  Baron  de  Neumann,  Count 
St  Aldegonde,  and  others,  persevered  in  spite  of  all  the 
prejudices  which  were  marshalled  against  them  :  "Every 
night  the  waltz  was  called,  and  new  votaries,  though 
slowly,  were  added  to  their  train."  Another  great 
supporter  of  the  dance  was  M.  Bourblanc,  whose  tragic 
fate  I  shall  have  to  relate  in  another  place,  when  I  shall 
have  something  more  particular  to  say  about  the  indi- 
vidual celebrities  who  graced  from  time  to  time  the  floors 
of  Almack's. 

One  can  perhaps  understand  that  the  waltz  was  likely, 
at  its  first  introduction,  to  find  some  disfavour  amongst 
those  who  had  been  brought  up  on  more  stately  measures  ; 
but  the  author  of  a  work  on  the  Court  of  George  IV.  falls 
foul  of  the  quadrille,  than  which  one  is  accustomed  to 
consider  no  dance  more  decent,  and  few,  if  the  truth  must 
be  confessed,  more  dreary.  Here  is  what  the  writer  has 
to  say  on  the  subject:  "We  had  much  waltzing  and 
quadrilling,  the  last  of  which  is  certainly  very  abominable. 
I  am  not  prude  enough  to  be  offended  with  waltzing,  in 
which  I  can  see  no  other  harm  than  that  it  disorders  the 
stomach,  and  sometimes  makes  people  look  very  ridicul- 
ous ;  but,  after  all,  moralists,  with  the  Duchess  of  Gordon 
at  their  head,  who  never  had  a  moral  in  her  life,  exclaim 
dreadfully  against  it.  Nay,  I  am  told  that  these  magical 
wheelings  have  already  roused  poor  Lord  Dartmouth  from 
his  grave  to  suppress  them.  Alas !  after  all,  people  set 
about  it  as  gravely  as  a  company  of  dervishes,  and  seem  to 
be  paying  adoration  to  Pluto  rather  than  to  Cupid.  But 



the  quadrilles  I  can  by  no  means  endure ;  for  till  ladies 
and  gentlemen  have  joints  at  their  ankles,  which  is  im- 
possible, it  is  worse  than  impudent  to  make  such  exhibi- 
tions. .  .  .  When  people  dance  to  be  looked  at,  they  surely 
should  dance  to  perfection."  So,  after  all,  this  rather 
ungrammatical  tirade  is  not  against  the  morals  of  the 
dance,  but  apparently  against  the  difficulty  experienced 
of  figuring  gracefully  in  it. 

But  opposition  to  either  waltz  or  quadrille  was  hopeless, 
and,  according  to  Raikes,  "Flahault,  who  was  lafleur  des 
pois  in  Paris,  came  over  to  captivate  Miss  Mercer,  and, 
with  a  host  of  others,  drove  the  prudes  from  their  entrench- 
ments ;  and  when  the  Emperor  Alexander  was  seen 
waltzing  round  the  rooms  at  Almack's,  with  his  tight 
uniform  1  and  numerous  decorations,  they  surrendered  at 
discretion. ' ' 

Lord  William  Pitt  Lennox  tells  us  whom  were  con- 
sidered about  this  time  the  chief  exponents  of  the  new 
dances,  and  among  the  names  he  gives  are  those  of  Prince 
Leopold  of  Saxe-Coburg,  who  afterwards  became  the 
husband  of  the  Princess  Charlotte  and  subsequently 
Leopold  I.,  King  of  the  Belgians ;  Prince  Esterhazy,  the 
Dukes  of  Beaufort  and  Devonshire,  Count  D'Orsay  and 
Lords  Londonderry,  Anglesey  and  Donegall;  and  many 
of  these  availed  themselves  of  the  instructions  of  the 
numerous  maitres  de  danse  who  came  over  in  the  wake  of 
the  influential  foreigners  who  had  helped  to  popularise 
the  waltz  and  the  quadrille  in  this  country. 

But  the  dances  at  Almack's  did  not  always  go  off  with- 
out mishap,  and  the  industrious  Gronow  records  at  least 
one  occasion   on  which  an  untoward   event  happened. 
Lord  Graves,  notable  for  his  size  as  well  as  for  the  general 
excellence  of  his  dancing,   had   on   one  occasion   Lady 
Harriet  Butler  as  his  partner  in  a  quadrille.     The  lady, 
1  Lady  Brownlow's  Reminiscences. 


fresh  from  Paris,  astonished  the  habitues  of  Almack's  by 
the  grace  and  ease  with  which  she  performed  the  entrechats, 
as  they  were  called.  Lord  Graves,  anxious  to  emulate 
Lady  Harriet's  dexterity,  attempted  the  figure ;  but  his 
bulk  was  against  him,  and  he  fell  heavily  to  the  ground. 
Nothing  disconcerted,  he  was  quickly  on  his  feet  again, 
and  finished  the  quadrille ;  but  Sir  John  Burke,  who  was 
an  amused  spectator,  could  not  resist  remarking  to  him : 

What  could  have  induced  you,  at  your  age  and  in  your 
state,  to  make  so  great  a  fool  of  yourself  as  to  attempt  an 
entrechat  "  ?  Whereupon  the  offended  peer  replied  :  "  If 
you  think  I  am  too  old  to  dance,  I  consider  myself  not 
too  old  to  blow  your  brains  out  for  your  impertinence ;  so 
the  sooner  you  find  a  second  the  better  " ;  and  had  not 
Lord  Sefton  been  at  hand  to  pass  the  matter  off  with 
a  sensible  pleasantry,  a  duel  would  undoubtedly  have 
been  the  upshot. 

So  much  for  the  dancing  at  Almack's. 

The  assemblies  were  useful  in  other  ways,  as  all  such 
places  are.  "Almack's,"  says  an  authority,  "was  a 
matrimonial  bazaar,  where  mothers  met  to  carry  on  affairs 
of  state;  and  often  has  the  table,  spread  with  tepid 
lemonade,  weak  tea,  tasteless  orgeat,  stale  cakes,  and  thin 
slices  of  bread  and  butter — the  only  refreshment  allowed 
— been  the  scene  of  tender  proposals."  "How  often," 
adds  the  chronicler,  "  has  Colinet's  flageolet  stifled  the  soft 
response,  '  Ask  Mamma  ! '  How  often  have  the  guardian 
abigails  in  the  cloak-room  heard  a  whispered  sigh,  followed 
by  what  vulgarians  term  'popping  the  question,'  and  a 
faint  reply  of  « Yes!'" 

One  of  the  rules  was  that  no  one  might  enter  the  rooms 
after  eleven  o'clock  P.M.  One  can  only  suppose  that 
there  were  good  reasons  for  such  a  law,  but  the  plain 
man  fails  to  comprehend  them.  Not  infrequently  it  was 
the  cause  of  members  being  turned  away,  but  at  least 



on  one  occasion  it  was  circumvented  by  a  resourceful 

Again  enters  the  Iron  Duke  into  the  story  of  Almack's. 

Ticknor x  describes  the  circumstance  more  fully  than  it 
is  given  elsewhere,  and  I  will  therefore  follow  his  version. 

After  dining  one  day  with  Lord  and  Lady  Downshire 
he  went  on  with  his  hostess  and  other  ladies  to  Almack's. 
On  this  particular  evening  Lady  Jersey  happened  to  be 
the  patroness,  it  being  usual  for  only  one  member  of  the 
committee  to  fill  this  post  at  a  time. 

On  their  way  to  the  ball  the  Downshire  party  called 
at  Lady  Mornington's,  where  they  found  the  Duke  of 
Wellington,  who,  being  asked  if  he  was  going  to  Almack's, 
replied  that  "  he  thought  he  should  look  in  by  and  by," 
on  which  his  mother  told  him  that  "  he  had  better  go 
in  good  time,  as  Lady  Jersey  would  make  no  allowance 
for  him."  However,  he  remained,  and  Ticknor  and  his 
friends  proceeded  to  the  rooms  in  King  Street. 

Some  time  later  in  the  evening  Ticknor  was  standing 
talking  to  Lady  Jersey,  when  he  heard  one  of  the  attend- 
ants say  to  her  :  "  Lady  Jersey,  the  Duke  of  Wellington 
is  at  the  door,  and  desires  to  be  admitted."  "What 
o'clock  is  it?  "  she  asked.  "  Seven  minutes  after  eleven, 
your  Ladyship."  She  paused  an  instant,  and  then  said 
with  emphasis  and  distinctness:  "Give  my  compli- 
ments— give  Lady  Jersey's  compliments  to  the  Duke  of 
Wellington,  and  say  she  is  very  glad  that  the  first  enforce- 
ment of  the  rule  of  exclusion  is  such  that  hereafter 
no  one  can  complain  of  its  application.  He  cannot  be 

The  stringency  of  Lady  Jersey's  rule  is  also  well  ex- 
emplified in  the  following  anecdote,  which  I  give  in 

1  Diary,  vol.  i.,  p.  245. 

2  These    and   similar    incidents    are  referred   to  in    Luttrell's 
Advice  to  Julia. 



Gronow's  own  words:  "When  duelling  was  at  its  height 
in  England,  the  most  absurd  pretexts  were  made  for 
calling  a  man  out.  I  recollect  that  at  one  of  the  dinners 
at  The  Thatched  House  in  St  James's  Street,  Mr  Willis, 
the  proprietor,  in  passing  behind  the  chairs  occupied  by 
the  company,  was  accosted  by  a  Captain  in  the  3rd 
Guards,  in  a  rather  satirical  manner.  Mr  Willis,  smarting 
under  the  caustic  remarks  of  the  gallant  captain,  said 
aloud  :  '  Sir,  I  wrote  to  you  at  the  request  of  Lady  Jersey, 
saying  that  as  her  Ladyship  was  unacquainted  with  you, 
I  had  been  instructed  to  reply  to  your  letter,  by  stating 
that  the  Lady  Patronesses  declined  sending  you  a  ticket 
for  the  ball.'  This  statement,  made  in  a  public  room, 
greatly  irritated  the  captain ;  his  friends  in  vain  en- 
deavoured to  calm  his  wrath,  and  he  sent  a  cartel  the 
following  day  to  Lord  Jersey  requesting  he  would  name 
his  second,  etc.  Lord  Jersey  replied  in  a  very  dignified 
manner,  saying  that  if  all  persons  who  did  not  receive 
tickets  from  his  wife  were  to  call  him  to  account  for  want 
of  courtesy  on  her  part,  he  should  have  to  make  up  his 
mind  to  become  a  target  for  young  officers,  and  he 
therefore  declined  the  honour  of  the  proposed  meeting." 

But  not  all  the  lady  patronesses  were  so  uncompromis- 
ing as  Lady  Jersey ;  and  on  another  occasion  the  great 
Duke  was  permitted  to  enter,  the  rule  for  this  occasion 
being  waived  in  his  favour,  but  only  at  the  request  of  one 
of  the  presiding  deities. 

It  seems  to  have  been  no  less  difficult  to  break  through 
the  rules  of  Almack's  than  it  was  to  evade  the  lynx-eyed 
janitors  at  the  doors  ;  but  at  least  one  occasion  is  recorded 
on  which,  by  a  trick,  a  noble  peer  succeeded  in  entering 
after  the  fatal  strokes  of  eleven  had  sounded.  It  was 
in  this  wise.  Owing  to  an  accident  to  his  carriage  the 
gentleman  in  question  arrived  too  late,  but  instead  of 
attempting  to  enter,  which  he  knew  would  be  next  to 



useless,  he  waited  outside  until  some  of  his  acquaintances 
came  out ;  whereupon  he  went  up  to  their  carriage  and 
pretended  to  say  good-night  to  them,  as  a  gentleman 
who  was  seeing  them  out  was  doing.  On  their  departure 
the  noble  lord  followed  his  friend  in  again,  the  latter  truth- 
fully telling  the  servants  that  they  had  been  seeing  some 
ladies  into  their  carriage. 

In  Tom  Moore's  Diary  we  get  some  glimpses  of  Almack's 
jealously  guarded  interior  and  the  doings  that  went  on  in 
its  almost  sacred  precincts.  In  one  early  entry,  in  May 
1819,  he  says:  "Went  to  Almack's  (the  regular 
Assembly)  and  staid  till  three  in  the  morning.  Lord 
Morpeth  said  to  me:  'You  and  I  live  at  Almack's.'" 
Again,  in  the  April  of  1822,  he  notes  one  of  his  frequent 
visits,  but  adds  sadly  that  though  there  was  a  "very 
pretty  show  of  women,"  the  place  was  "  not  quite  what 
it  used  to  be."  However,  a  week  later  he  was  there 
again,  but  was  very  nearly  too  late,  as  he  had  attended 
Catalani's  concert,  and  had  been  obliged  to  go  home  and 
dress  again  for  the  Assembly. 

On  4th  June  in  the  following  year  he  records  again  being 
a  visitor,  and  with  some  complacency  sets  down  the  fact 
that  Lady  Jersey  and  Lady  Tankerville  "were  sending 
various  messengers  after  me  through  the  room  " ;  a  circum- 
stance on  which  he  was  bantered  some  days  later  at  an 
assembly  at  Devonshire  House  by  the  Duchess  of  Sussex, 
who  told  him  that  she  overheard  someone  near  her  say : 
"  See  them  now ;  it  is  all  on  account  of  his  reputation,  for 
they  do  not  care  one  pin  about  him  !  " 

On  another  occasion,  in  May  1826,  a  fancy  quadrille, 
called  the  "Paysannes  Proven^ales,"  was  danced,  much 
to  the  poet's  satisfaction,  although  he  had  expected  to 
witness  one  entitled  the  "Twelve  Months,"  which  had 
been  given  up  on  account  of  the  death  of  the  sister  of 
"  one  of  the  months." 



Some  days  later  it  was  performed,  however,  and  Moore 
has  this  entry  in  his  Diary  : 

"June  31st. — Went  away  (from  a  dinner  at  Lord 
King's)  with  Baring  Wall,  and  having  left  him  at  the 
Traveller's,  took  his  carriage  home  with  me,  and  having 
refitted  a  little,  made  use  of  it  to  go  to  Almack's ;  was 
there  early ;  waited  till  the  Seasons  arrived ;  got  into 
their  wake  as  they  passed  up  the  room,  and  saw  them 
dance  their  quadrille ;  the  twelve  without  any  gentleman. 
Rather  disappointed  in  the  effect;  their  head-dresses 
(gold  baskets  full  of  fruit,  flowers,  etc.)  too  heavy  ;  Miss 
Sheridan  the  handsomest  of  any ;  most  of  the  others 
pretty,  Miss  Brand,  the  Misses  Forester,  Miss  Acton, 
Miss  Beauclerc;  etc.  As  soon  as  I  had  seen  them  dance, 
came  away." 

There  are  other  references  to  the  famous  assemblies  in 
the  Diary,  but  enough  have  been  given,  although  I  must 
not  omit  to  mention  that  Moore  speaks  of  the  young  girls 
of  the  period  as  "  dating  their  ages  and  standing  by  their 
seasons  at  Almack's."  One  of  them  (Miss  Macdonald), 
indeed,  confessed  to  considering  herself  an  old  woman, 
from  its  being  her  second  season  ! 

There  is  no  doubt  that  the  strictness  of  the  rules  did 
much  to  keep  up  the  reputation  of  Almack's,  especially 
when  these  rules  were  enforced  by  such  great  ladies  as 
the  Countess  of  Jersey  or  the  Princess  Lieven ;  and  Lord 
Lamington  was  perhaps  right  when  he  asserted  that 
"Almack's  was  the  portal  to  that  select  circle  of  intellect 
and  grace  which  constituted  the  charm  of  Society. ' '  But 
at  the  same  time  laws  enforced  by  such  an  iron  hand, 
even  if  the  hand  was  clothed  in  a  velvet  glove,  must 
have  become,  after  the  early  glamour  of  the  place  wore  off 
somewhat,  very  much  akin  to  tyranny. 

Ticknor,  when  in  this  country  at  a  later  date  (1835), 
found  this  to  some  extent,  and  thus  notices  it  in  his  Diary : 



"  It  was  very  brilliant,  as  it  always  is,"  he  writes,  "  and 
the  arrangements  for  ease  and  comfort  were  perfect ;  no 
ceremony,  no  supper ;  no  regulation  or  managing ; 
brilliantly  lighted  large  halls,  very  fine  music,  plenty  of 
dancing.  It  struck  me,  however,  that  there  were  fewer 
of  the  leading  nobility  and  fashion  there  than  formerly, 
and  that  the  general  cast  of  the  company  was 

Some  modification  of  the  rules  had  evidently  taken 
place  when  a  visitor  could  write  that  there  was  "no 
regulation  or  managing  " ;  and,  indeed,  in  one  important 
particular,  we  know  that  there  had  been  an  alteration,  for 
Ticknor,  on  this  very  occasion,  records  that  he  and  his 
party  arrived  there  "just  before  the  doors  were  closed  at 

Some  five  years  later  a  writer  in  The  Quarterly  Review  2 
notes  this  decadence  still  more  insistently,  and  draws  a 
moral  from  the  decline  of  Almack's,  in  which  he  sees  "a 
clear  proof  that  the  palmy  days  of  exclusiveness  are  gone 
by  in  England."  "And  though,"  he  adds,  "it  is  obvi- 
ously impossible  to  prevent  any  given  number  of  persons 
from  congregating  and  re-establishing  an  oligarchy,  we 
are  quite  sure  that  the  attempt  would  be  ineffectual  and 
that  the  sense  of  their  importance  would  extend  little  beyond 
the  set." 

It  is  in  these  last  words  which  I  have  italicised  that  is 
adumbrated  the  remarkable  power  of  Almack's  as  it  was 
in  its  prime.  Its  influence  and  importance  extended  far 

1  In  a  note  to  a  passage  in  Advice  to  Julia  we  read:   "It  was 
till  very  lately  settled  that,  even  after  half-past  eleven,  the  whole 
string  of  coaches  then  formed   in  the  street  might  deposit  its 
contents  in  the  ballroom.     By  this  equitable  construction  many 
were  admitted  after  midnight ;  but  now  (circa  1827),  the  hour  of 
limitation  has  been  enlarged  till  twelve  o'clock  and  the  privilege  of 
the  string  abolished." 

2  For  1840. 



beyond  "the  set  "  that  composed  it.  We  know  that  at 
no  time  had  more  than  two  thousand  the  entree;  its 
patronesses  numbered  not  more  than  six  or  seven,  but  its 
fame  and  importance  was  a  byword  throughout  the  land ; 
its  influence  was  unquestioned ;  its  power  unassailable. 
It  stood  for  the  last  word  of  fashion  and  exclusiveness. 
To  be  introduced  into  that  magic  circle  was  considered  at 
one  time  as  great  a  distinction  as  to  be  presented  at  Court, 
and  was  often  far  more  difficult  of  attainment. 

In  the  fiction  of  the  period  the  place  figures  perpetually  ; 
indeed,  one  novel  bears  its  name,  and  was  one  of  those 
romans  d  clef  of  which  the  key  was  supplied  by  no  less  a 
person  than  Disraeli.  It  was,  in  a  word,  the  great  social 
centre,  the  holy  of  holies  of  fashion,  as  it  were,  in  London ; 
and  if,  as  he  did,  Carlyle  wailed  for  the  "  gum  flowers  of 
Almack's  to  be  made  living  roses  in  a  new  Eden,"  he  at 
the  same  time  could  not  help  confessing  that  to  a  fraction 
of  the  universe  "How  will  this  look  in  Almack's?  ",  was 
as  insistent  a  question  as  "How  will  this  look  in  the 
universe  ?  "  was  to  a  man  of  genius. 

Luttrell  neatly  summarised  the  place  it  held  in  the  social 
world  when  he  wrote : 

"If  once  to  Almack's  you  belong, 
Like  monarchs,  you  can  do  no  wrong  ; 
But  banished  thence  on  Wednesday  night, 
By  Jove,  you  can  do  nothing  right. ' ' 




FROM  its  earliest  days,  as  we  have  seen,  Almack's  was 
identified  with  a  female  rule,  which  at  times  became  as 
overbearing  and  as  despotic  as  that  of  the  Roman  tyrants 
or  the  Venetian  Council  of  Ten.  But  if  this  oligarchy 
bore  heavily  on  those  who  came  within  the  scope  of  its 
authority  and  influence,  it  was,  at  the  same  time,  on  the 
whole,  notable  for  the  fairness  with  which  it  administered 
the  laws  which  it  had  itself  formulated. 

The  character  of  the  ladies  who  from  time  to  time 
wielded  the  sceptre  of  despotism  was,  indeed,  sufficient  to 
guarantee  the  general  absence  of  any  flagrant  act  of  petty 
spite  or  questionable  taste ;  and  if  here  and  there  such 
could  be  pointed  to,  they  were  merely  those  exceptions 
which  we  are  taught  to  consider  as  proving  the  rule. 

The  beauty  and  the  mental  endowments  of  some  of  the 
great  ladies  who  formed  this  tribunal  of  fashion,  were  alone 
sufficient  to  account  for  the  power  which  they  arrogated 
to  themselves  and  which  characterised  every  action  as 
regards  their  administration  of  Almack's.  To  this  was 
added  that  genius  for  administration  and  that  love  for 
exercising  despotic  power,  which  was  inherent  in  others 
whose  beauty  of  person  or  intellectual  attainments  would 
hardly  have  been  sufficient  to  fit  them  for  the  post  of 

The  combination  certainly  resulted  in  one  of  the  most 
curious  social  anomalies  of  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth, 
and  the  early  years  of  the  nineteenth,  century — a  small 
coterie  dominating,  without  appeal,  the  whole  of  the 



Society  of  London.  It  was  the  principle  of  an  effective 
minority  carried  to  its  highest  power  ! 

Of  all  these  patronesses  Lady  Jersey  was,  perhaps,  the 
most  notable. 

This  remarkable  woman  had,  from  her  youth  up, 
occupied  a  leading  position  in  the  Society  of  her  day.  Her 
amiable  manners,  her  interest  in  politics,  her  admirable 
linguistic  powers,  her  kindly,  genial  nature,  all  combined 
to  give  her  a  sort  of  prescriptive  right  to  the  exalted 
sphere  in  which  she  moved. 

She  was  the  daughter  of  the  10th  Earl  of  Westmor- 
land, and,  as  Lady  Sarah  Sophia  Fane,  had  been  married 
to  the  5th  Earl  of  Jersey,  then  Viscount  Villiers,  on  23rd 
May  1804.1  It  is  important  to  be  particular  about  this, 
in  order  that  she  may  not  be  confounded  with  her  notori- 
ous mother-in-law,  Frances,  Countess  of  Jersey,  wife  of  the 
4th  Earl,  who  died  in  1821,  and  whose  connection  with 
George  IV.  largely  helped  to  bring  the  Crown  into  the 
discredit  which  attached  to  it  at  that  period. 

From  1805,  when  her  husband  succeeded  to  the  title, 
till  her  death,  in  1867,  Sarah,  Lady  Jersey,  was  absolute 
Queen  of  London  Society.  Other  great  ladies,  like  the 
Marchioness  of  Londonderry,  had  greater  wealth  and 
more  imposing  houses ;  others,  like  Lady  Palmerston, 
were  more  intimately  connected  with  political  matters ; 
others,  like  the  Princess  Lieven,  were  more  intellectually 
endowed  ;  others,  like  the  Duchess  of  Beaufort,  were  more 
beautiful ;  but  not  one  of  them  approached  Lady  Jersey 
in  that  social  sovereignty  which  she  wielded  for  over  half- 

Sir  William  Fraser,  who  knew  her  well,  has  left  the 
following  word-picture  of  this  uncrowned  queen  of 

1  Her  mother  was  Miss  Child,  daughter  of  Child,  the  banker  ; 
and  it  was  she  who  eloped  with  Lord  Westmorland  from  the 
paternal  roof  in  Berkeley  Square. 



fashion  :  "Lady  Jersey  never  was  a  beauty.  She  had  a 
grand  figure  to  the  last ;  never  became  the  least  corpulent, 
and,  to  use  a  common  term,  there  was  obviously  no  '  make 
up  '  about  her.  A  considerable  mass  of  grey  hair ; 
dressed,  not  as  a  young  woman,  but  as  a  middle-aged  one. 
Entirely  in  this,  as  in  other  things,  without  affectation,  her 
appearance  was  always  pleasant.  No  trace  of  rouge  nor 
dye  could  ever  be  seen  about  her."  This  latter  remark 
is  corroborated  by  Madame  Collore"do,  the  Austrian 
Ambassadress  in  London,  who,  once  wishing  to  give  some 
ladies  an  idea  of  Lady  Jersey's  appearance,  exclaimed  : 
"  I  will  tell  you  what  Lady  Jersey  was.  A  quatre-vingt 
ans  elle  portait  une  robe  de'collete'e ;  et  elle  n'e'tait  pas 

"She  seemed,"  continues  Sir  William,  "to  take  her 
sovereignty  as  a  matter  of  course :  to  be  neither  vain  of 
it,  nor,  indeed,  to  think  much  about  it.  Very  quick  and 
intelligent,  with  the  strongest  sense  of  humour  that  I 
have  ever  seen  in  a  woman ;  taking  the  keenest  delight 
in  a  good  joke,  and  having,  I  should  say,  great  physical 
enjoyment  of  life." 

The  testimony  of  Henry  Greville  bears  out  substantially 
Sir  William  Eraser's  remarks,  although  the  former  allows 
her  to  have  had  a  greater  share  of  beauty  than  the 
latter  concedes  her,  and  he  accounts  for  her  remarkable 
social  success  "in  a  more  refined  and  more  brilliant 
society  than  is  to  be  found  in  our  own  day"  by  her 
"great  zest  and  gaiety,  rather  than  her  cleverness, 
which  constituted  her  power  of  attracting  remarkable 

Whatever  was  the  cause,  the  fact  remains  that  "Queen 
Sarah,"  as  she  was  called,  ruled  supreme  in  the  realms  of 
fashion  for  half-a-century,  and  made  as  few  enemies  as 
anyone  in  such  an  exalted  position  could  be  expected  to 
do.  The  late  Lord  Lamington,  who  knew  her  intimately, 
p  225 


recalls  for  us,  in  his  Days  of  tlie  Dandies,  her  "kindly 
genial  presence,"  and  he  helps  to  let  us  into  the  secret  of 
her  social  success  when  he  says  of  her  that  "  she  possessed 
the  special  knowledge  which  rendered  her  society  agreeable 
to  literary  men,"  and  adds  that,  "  her  keenness  in  politics 
placed  her  at  the  head,  as  it  made  her  house  the  centre,  of 
attraction  to  the  then  Tory  party." 

Such  testimonies  as  these  may  be  supposed  to  be  the 
highly  coloured  eulogiums  of  personal  acquaintance,  but 
when  Charles  Greville,  who,  though  also  a  close  friend,  is 
known  never  to  have  spared  his  friends  when  estimating 
their  characters,  thus  sums  up  Lady  Jersey's  qualities, 
I  think  we  may  be  satisfied  that  the  consensus  of  praise 
bestowed  upon  her  was  merited  : 

"  Lady  Jersey,"  writes  the  diarist,1 "  is  an  extraordinary 
woman,  and  has  many  good  qualities :  surrounded  as  she 
is  by  flatterers  and  admirers,  she  is  neither  proud  nor 
conceited.  She  is  full  of  vivacity,  spirit,  and  good  nature, 
but  the  wide  range  of  her  sympathies  and  affections  proves 
that  she  has  more  general  benevolence  than  particular 
sensibility  in  her  character.  She  performs  all  the  ordinary 
duties  of  life  with  great  correctness,  because  her  heart  is 
naturally  good  ...  in  conversation  she  is  lively  and 
pleasant,  without  being  very  remarkable,  for  she  has 
neither  wit,  nor  imagination,  nor  humour." 

I  end  the  extract  at  this  point  to  mark  more  obviously 
the  conflicting  judgments  of  contemporaries.  Sir  William 
Fraser  considered  that  Lady  Jersey  had  a  greater  sense 
of  humour  than  any  other  woman  with  whom  he  was 
acquainted ;  Charles  Greville  will  not  allow  that  she 
possessed  this  gift  at  all !  If  Sir  William  was  sometimes 
hyperbolic  in  his  expressions,  we  must  remember  that 
Greville — the  Cruncher,  as  he  was  familiarly  called — was 
accustomed  to  find  fault  with  everyone,  and  perhaps  he 
1  Journals,  vol.  i.,  pp.  12-13. 


saw  no  humour  in  Lady  Jersey  because  he  had  not  himself 
the  humour  to  detect  it. 

Besides  her  house  in  Berkeley  Square,  Lady  Jersey 
inherited  Osterley  Park,  with  a  large  fortune,  from  her 
grandfather,  Mr  Child,  the  banker,  in  these  circumstances  : 
Mr  Child  had  an  only  daughter,  who,  falling  in  love  with 
Lord  Burghersh,  eldest  son  of  the  Earl  of  Westmorland, 
eloped  with  him,  and  although  closely  followed  by  her 
angry  father,  reached  Gretna  Green  just — and  only  just — 
in  time  to  be  married.  Finding  himself  powerless  to  do 
anything  further,  Child  determined,  at  least,  to  prevent 
any  of  his  fortune  from  going  direct  to  his  daughter,  and 
he  therefore  made  a  will  leaving  the  whole  of  it  to  any 
daughter  that  might  be  born  of  the  marriage,  and  Lady 
Sarah  Fane,  afterwards  Countess  of  Jersey,  was  the  lucky 

It  is  said  that  a  few  days  before  the  elopement  Lord 
Burghersh,  dining  with  Mr  Child,  put  to  him  the  question 
as  to  what  he  should  do  if  he  were  in  love  with  a  girl  and 
could  not  gain  her  parents'  consent  to  a  marriage,  when 
the  unsuspecting  banker  replied  :  "  Elope  with  her,  to  be 
sure  " ;  on  which  parental  advice  the  young  man  promptly 

On  Lord  Jersey's  marrying  Lady  Sarah  he  took  the 
name  of  Child  in  addition  to  his  own  of  Villiers  ;  and  there 
still  hangs  in  a  room  in  Child's  Bank,  Lawrence's  full- 
length  portrait  of  Lady  Jersey — surely  a  more  beautiful 
partner  than  bank  ever  had  before  or  since. 

Another  great  influence  in  the  debates  of  Almack's 
powerful  committee  was  Lady  Londonderry,  the  wife  of  a 
distinguished  member  of  the  peerage  as  well  as  a  brilliant 
soldier,  the  3rd  Marquis  of  Londonderry,  and  sister-in-law 
of  the  celebrated  Lord  Castlereagh,  who  died  by  his  own 
hand  in  1822,  and  to  whom  her  husband  succeeded  in  the 
marquisate.  Very  rich,  and  possessing  fine  houses,  both 

227     1 


in  London  and  the  country,  it  is  hardly  to  be  wondered  at 
that  these  advantages,  coupled  with  her  double  connection 
with  politics  and  the  Army,  should  have  enabled  Lady 
Londonderry  to  compass  such  social  power  as  she  had  a 
mind  to;  but,  notwithstanding  this,  she  never  attained 
anything  approaching  the  influence  wielded  by  Lady 
Jersey,  or  the  authority  in  matters  of  fashion  of  Lady 

This  latter  lady  had  a  singularly  eventful  career.  The 
daughter  of  the  1st  Lord  Melbourne,  she  married,  as  the 
Hon.  Emily  Mary  Lamb,  the  5th  Earl  Cowper,  on  21st 
July  1805 ;  he  died  in  1837,  and  his  widow,  two  years 
afterwards,  became  the  wife  of  the  3rd  Lord  Palmerston. 
As  her  brother  was  one  Prime  Minister,  and  her  second 
husband  another,  she  may  be  said  to  have  grasped  politics 
with  both  hands. 

But  it  was  perhaps  owing  to  this  very  circumstance  that 
she  was  never  able  to  restrict  herself  to  that  exclusiveness 
which  so  greatly  helped  to  enhance  the  reputation  and 
solidify  the  power  of  Lady  Jersey. 

But  she  played  her  part  admirably,  and  whether  she 
was  assisting  at  some  of  the  mysteries  of  Almack's,  or  was 
presiding  over  the  splendid  entertainments  with  which 
she  shed  a  lustre  over  Cambridge  House,1  she  was  always 
affable,  always  interested,  always  conciliating;  and  if 
many  of  the  ephemeral  quarrels  of  Almack's  were  smoothed 
away  by  her  ready  wit  and  ever-present  tact;  it  is  as 
certain  that  the  power  of  the  "frolicsome  statesman — the 
man  of  the  day,"  as  Locker-Lampson  calls  him — was  con- 
solidated and  extended  by  the  careful  watchfulness  of  his 

1  No.  94  Piccadilly,  once  the  residence  of  the  Earls  of  Egremont, 
later  of  the  Marquis  of  Cholmondeley,  then  of  the  Duke  of 
Cambridge  (whence  its  name),  who  died  here  in  1850,  when  Lord 
Palmerston  took  it.  It  is  now  the  Naval  and  Military — the  "  In 
and  Out  "—Club. 



better  half.  If  such  a  testimony  were  required,  the  pages 
of  Henry  Greville's  diary  would  be  sufficient  to  show  that 
Lady  Palmerston  fully  shared  her  husband's  confidence, 
not  only  in  private  but  in  political  matters,  and  there  is 
little  doubt  that  much  of  his  popularity  and  success  was 
due  to  her  loving  co-operation. 

Lady  Sefton,  another  of  the  oligarchy  of  Almack's,  was 
altogether  a  different  character ;  and,  indeed,  it  was  prob- 
ably this  happy  mixture  of  different  temperaments  and 
varied  interests  that  combined  to  make  that  oligarchy  as 
powerful  as  it  undoubtedly  was. 

Lady  Sefton,  nee  Maria  Margaret,  daughter  of  the  6th 
Lord  Craven,  was  the  wife  of  that  famous  bon-vivant  and 
gambler,  the  2nd  Earl  of  Sefton,  the  friend  of  the  Regent 
and  the  companion  of  Brummell,  who,  in  spite  of  being 
"a  gigantic  hunchback,"  as  Gronow  records,  was  one  of 
the  dandies  of  the  day,  and  a  fine  horseman. 

Lady  Sefton  was,  on  the  same  authority,  both  kind 
and  amiable,  and  she  probably  left  much  of  the  judicial 
accepting  or  refusing  of  candidates  for  entrance  into 
Almack's,  to  the  severer  judgments  of  some  of  her  assistant 

One  of  these,  who,  we  may  be  sure,  carefully  scrutinised 
every  application  of  this  sort,  and  judicially  weighed  the 
merits  or  otherwise  of  those  who  sought  the  much-coveted 
cards,  was  the  haughty  and  exclusive  Princess  Lieven,  one 
of  the  two  foreigners  who  became  patronesses. 

Dorothea  Christorovna  Benckendorff,  for  such  was  her 
maiden  name,  was  in  all  respects  a  very  remarkable 
woman ;  and  whereas  in  most  cases  their  connection  with 
Almack's  has  alone  caused  many  of  the  lady  patronesses 
to  be  remembered  at  all,  in  hers,  it  was  but  an  incident  in 
her  career  as  a  female  politician  of  the  first  rank: 

This  being  so,  a  few  words  about  her  history  will  not  be 
inappropriate.  She  was  born  on  17th  December  1785,  at 



Riga,  where  her  father  was  military  commandant ;  so 
that  from  her  earliest  years  she  was  accustomed  to  the 
atmosphere  of  rule  and  political  activity. 

Educated  at  the  Smolny  Convent  School,  she  was,  on 
leaving  it,  appointed  Maid  of  Honour  to  the  Empress  of 
Russia  in  1799,  and  in  1800  was  married  to  Lieutenant- 
General  Count  Lieven.  Nine  years  later  her  husband  was 
appointed  Russian  Envoy  to  Prussia,  when  she  had  her 
first  opportunity  of  publicly  exhibiting  those  precocious 
talents  as  a  hostess  and  a  talker  with  which  she  had  been 
credited  at  an  even  earlier  period.  In  1811  Count  Lieven 
was  promoted  to  be  Ambassador  to  the  Court  of  St  James's, 
having  for  his  chief  object  the  resumption  of  those  friendly 
relations  between  this  country  and  Russia,  which  had 
been  for  a  time  suspended  in  consequence  of  the  Peace 
of  Tilsit. 

Settled  in  this  country,  the  Countess  Lieven  seems  to 
have  become  quite  as  politically  active  as  her  husband, 
and  her  relations  with  such  men  as  Aberdeen  and 
Wellington,  Canning  and  Grey,  Palmerston  and  Peel, 
were  of  the  closest ;  while  her  letters  are  eloquent  of  her 
varying  estimation  of  those  with  whom  she  was  thus 
brought  in  contact.  On  the  other  hand,  the  opinion  of 
some  of  these  politicians  as  regards  the  lady  herself  was 
not  always  flattering,  and  Wellington  once  bluntly  as- 
serted to  Raikes  that  she  would  betray  everyone  in  turn 
if  it  happened  to  suit  her  purpose ;  a  sentiment  which 
Palmerston  echoed,  although  with  less  cause,  perhaps,  as 
the  Countess  Lieven  had  been,  politically,  of  much  use  to 

As  may  be  supposed,  her  name  frequently  occurs  in  the 
various  memoirs  and  journals  of  the  day,  particularly  in 
the  diaries  of  the  two  Grevilles,  where  she  is  shown  to  be 
so  obviously  au  courant  with  all  the  twists  and  turns 
of  contemporary  politics,  that  one  wonders  why  such  a 



lesser  light  as  her  husband  troubled  to  interfere  in  them 
at  all !  "Her  cleverness,"  we  are  told,1  "was  generally 
recognised,  but  her  tact  was  shown  rather  in  her  fastidious- 
ness than  by  her  geniality,  and  the  impression  she  pro- 
duced was  that  she  was  as  fully  conscious  of  her  own 
superiority  as  she  was  of  the  inferiority  of  those  with 
whom  she  was  brought  in  daily  contact." 

No  wonder  that  it  was  also  commonly  said  that  she  con- 
sidered herself  more  competent  to  advance  the  interests 
of  her  country,  than  the  Emperor  and  his  Ministers  com- 
bined. This,  indeed,  was  the  keynote  of  her  character — an 
overweening  sense  of  her  own  importance,  which  may  not 
always  be  a  fatal  attribute ;  but  also  an  absolute  disdain 
for  the  qualities  of  those  opposed  to  her,  which  is  nearly 
always  so.  Her  power,  however,  of  extracting  confidences 
from  those  whose  knowledge  might  be  useful  to  her,  and 
a  tireless  following-up  of  the  advantages  thus  gained, 
were  undoubtedly  great. 

With  such  qualities  it  is  not  so  difficult  to  realise  that 
her  position  as  one  of  the  patronesses  of  Almack's  was  one 
which  added  that  peculiar  strength  most  required  by  that 
body,  but  was  also  one  which  could  hardly  fail  to  strike 
dismay  into  those  who  might  have  hoped  to  pass  the 
magic  portals  during  some  temporary  lapse  on  the  part  of 
other  members  of  the  tribunal.  One  could  surely  never 
hope  to  evade  the  lynx-like  vigilance  of  the  Russian 

She  emphasised  her  term  of  office  by  introducing  the 
waltz  into  these  aristocratic  assemblies,  and  many  of  the 
references  to  her  in  the  memoirs  and  diaries  of  the  period 
are  confined  to  her  connection  with  Almack's. 

In  1834  the  Lievens  were  recalled  to  Russia,  but  we 

find  the  Princess,  for  her  husband  had  been  created  a 

Prince,  in  this  country  again  during  the  troublous  year 

1  By  Mr  L.  G.  Robinson,  who  edited  her  Letters  in  1902. 


1848,  when  she  followed  Guizot  hither.  Two  years 
later  she  took  up  her  residence  in  Paris  where,  in  1857, 
she  died  in  the  house  that  had  once  before  sheltered 
another  great  political  spirit — no  unfitting  male  counter- 
part to  the  Princess — Talleyrand. 

The  Princess  Lieven  was  one  of  the  two  foreigners  who 
helped  to  direct  the  destinies  of  Almack's,  the  Princess 
Esterhazy l  was  the  other.  B  orn  Princess  Theresa  of  Thurn 
and  Taxis,  she  married  Prince  Esterhazy,  the  Austrian 
Ambassador,  and  with  him  became  closely  connected  with 
the  fashionable  life  of  this  country,  inasmuch  as  they 
were  both  members  of  Almack's. 

Gronow  speaks  of  the  Princess  being  continually  seen 
waltzing  with  the  Baron  de  Neumann,  the  Secretary  to 
the  Austrian  Embassy,  and  in  the  Sketch  of  a  Ball  at 
Almack's  in  1815,  she  is  delineated,  most  ungracefully  it 
must  be  confessed,  dancing  with  the  Comte  St  Antonio, 
afterwards  Duke  of  Canizzaro,  a  noted  lady-killer  and 
dandy,  who  subsequently  married  Miss  Johnson. 

Princess  Lieven,  in  one  of  her  gossiping  letters,  describes 
the  Princess  Esterhazy  as  "  small,  round,  black,  animated, 
and  somewhat  spiteful,"  and  adds  that,  although  she  was 
"  a  great-niece  of  the  Queen  of  England,  through  her 
mother,  the  Princess  of  Thurn  and  Taxis,"  yet  "this 
relationship  gives  her  no  sort  of  precedence  here,  as  she 
is  regarded  as  belonging  to  the  corps  diplomatique." 

However  much  she  may  have  identified  herself  with  the 
social  life  of  the  country  to  which  her  husband  had  been 
accredited,  it  can  hardly  be  supposed  that  the  Princess's 
knowledge  of  the  various  grades  of  our  society  —  a 

1  She  must  not  be  confounded  with  Lady  Sarah  Villiers,  daughter 
of  Lord  Jersey,  who  married  Prince  Nicholas  Esterhazy  in  1842. 
See  Raikes,  vol.  iv.,  p.  192.  Raikes,  by  the  by,  erroneously  states 
that  Princess  Lieven  was  the  only  foreigner  ever  made  a  patroness 
of  Almack's  (vol.  i.,  p.  234). 



notoriously  difficult  subject  for  foreigners — would  have  been 
extensive  enough  to  enable  her  very  closely  to  discrimin- 
ate between  who  should  and  who  should  not  be  admitted 
within  the  walls  of  Almack's  ;  and  we  can  therefore  only 
regard  her  as  adding  strength  to  the  committee  by  her 
high  birth,  natural  love  of  etiquette  (for  she  was,  we 
remember,  of  a  royal  German  house)  and,  perhaps,  by 
her  "spitefulness,"  if  such  existed  outside  the  rather 
atrabilious  imagination  of  the  Princess  Lieven. 

The  last  of  the  oligarchy  to  be  mentioned  is  Mrs 
Drummond  Burrell,  who  afterwards  became  Lady 
Willoughby  de  Eresby,  the  only  surviving  child  of  James, 
Lord  Perth,  who,  had  not  the  title  been  forfeited  as  a 
result  of  the  then  Earl  of  Perth's  sympathies  with  the  Old 
Pretender,  would  have  been  llth  Earl  of  Perth,  and  his 
daughter  consequently  Lady  Clementina  Drummond. 

Miss  Drummond,  as  she,  however,  was,  married  in  1807 
Peter  Robert  Burrell,  one  of  the  dandies  of  the  day.  On 
his  marriage  he  assumed  his  wife's  family  name  in  con- 
junction with  his  own.  His  father  had  been  created 
Lord  Gwydyr,  and  in  1820  he  succeeded  to  that  title; 
his  mother  was  Lady  Willoughby  de  Eresby  in  her  own 
right,  and  in  1828  he  also  succeeded  to  this  title,  which 
carries  with  it  the  great  post  of  Joint  Hereditary  Grand 
Chamberlain,  in  which  office  he  acted  at  the  Coronation 
of  Queen  Victoria,  and  for  which  he  had  acted  as  deputy 
at  that  of  George  IV. 

Both  Mr  and  Mrs  Drummond  Burrell  were  at  one  time 
intimate  friends  of  the  latter  monarch,  but  there  would 
appear  to  have  arisen  a  coolness  between  them  for  a 
period,  according  to  a  passage  in  one  of  Princess  Lieven 's 
letters  to  her  son.  wherein  she  writes  : 

"Do  you  recollect  Mrs  Burrell,  and  do  you  remember 
how  she  was  turned  out  of  the  Prince  Regent's  circle? 
Well,  now  she  is  one  of  the  King's  select  and  most 



intimate  group.  He  does  not  give  audience  to  his 
Ministers  but  he  receives  Mrs  Burrell." 

There  is  a  sting  in  these  lines  which  may  or  may  not 
have  been  intended ;  in  any  case  the  friendship  between 
the  King  and  Mrs  Burrell  was  of  a  purely  platonic  nature, 
and  if  there  had  been  a  temporary  discontinuance  of  it, 
this  may  have  arisen  from  the  fact  that  Mrs  Burrell  was 
a  close  friend  of  Lady  Hertford,  and  probably,  on  Lady 
Jersey's  rise  to  favour,  the  King  was  little  inclined  to  see 
much  of  the  friend  of  the  discarded  favourite. 

However,  the  Bun-ells,  as  we  see,  were  again  on  the  old 
terms  of  intimacy  with  the  Sovereign,  and  it  was  to  the 
husband  (become  Lord  Gwydyr)  that  the  King  applied 
to  know  the  feelings  of  the  dandies  as  to  his  treatment  of 
Queen  Caroline,  when  it  was  known  to  be  the  intention  of 
that  ill-used  woman  to  try  to  force  a  way  into  the  Abbey, 
on  the  occasion  of  the  Coronation.  "It  is  not  favourable 
to  your  Majesty,"  replied  Lord  Gwydyr.  "  I  care  nothing 
for  the  mob,"  said  George  IV.,  "  but  I  do  for  the  dandies  " ; 
and  he  sought  Lord  Gwydyr 's  advice  as  to  the  best  means 
of  propitiating  this  formidable  body.  The  latter  sug- 
gested his  Majesty's  inviting  them  to  a  breakfast  some- 
where near  the  Abbey  as  a  means  of  keeping  them  in  a 
good  humour,  which  advice  was  promptly  acted  upon. 

This  anecdote  is  interesting  as  showing  the  power 
wielded  by  a  set  of  men  whose  chief  objects  in  life  were 
dressing  well  and  gambling  heavily. 



IT  seems  fitting  that  some  account  of  Almack  himself 
should  precede  that  of  the  notable  men  who  helped  to 
make  his  rooms  famous,  but  the  difficulty  is  that  the 
material  at  my  command  is  of  the  most  meagre.  Indeed, 
the  very  year  of  his  birth  is  unknown,  which  is  a  bad 
beginning  when  one  is  attempting  to  describe  a  man's  life. 
Again,  it  seems  uncertain  whether  he  came  of  a  Scottish, 
an  Irish  or  a  Yorkshire  family,  one  version  giving  it  that 
he  was  descended  from  Yorkshire  Quaker  stock ;  another 
that  he  was  a  "sturdy  Celt  from  Galloway  or  Atholl, 
called  MacCaul.*' 

It  is  generally  believed  that  his  original  name  was 
Macall  and  that  he  changed  it,  by  a  process  of  inversion, 
to  Almack,  when  he  first  started  as  club  proprietor,  on 
account  of  the  odium  into  which  anything  Scottish  had 
fallen  at  this  period  (about  the  middle)  of  the  eighteenth 
century.  But  this  is  based  a  good  deal  on  conjecture, 
and  in  Notes  and  Queries  a  number  of  letters  and  other 
communications  on  the  subject  leave  the  matter  not  much 
clearer  than  it  was  before. 

Personally  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  no  such  change 
was  ever  attempted.  Almack  is  as  common  a  name  as 
Macall,  although  neither  is  frequently  met  with;  and 
surely  if  a  man  had  wanted  to  hide  his  origin  he  could 
have  done  so  more  skilfully  and  more  successfully  than 
by  merely  playing  a  conjuring  trick  with  the  letters  of 
his  name. 

What  does  seem  to  be  established  is  that  Almack  was 



at  one  time  valet  to  the  5th  Duke  of  Hamilton,  and 
that  while  in  this  capacity  he  became  acquainted  with 
Elizabeth  Cullen,  elder  daughter  of  William  Cullen  of 
Sanches,  Lanarkshire,  who  was  a  waiting-maid  to  the 
Duchess,  and  whom  he  subsequently  married. 

About  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  he,  like  so 
many  of  his  countrymen,  turned  his  eyes  southward, 
and,  coming  to  London,  he  became  the  proprietor  of 
The  Thatched  House  Tavern. 

Here  used  to  assemble  at  various  times  the  many  clubs 
that  had  selected  the  place  as  their  headquarters.  No 
fewer  than  twenty-six  are  given  by  Timbs,  as  well  as  nine 
Masonic  lodges  which  held  their  mysterious  revels  here. 
Chief  among  the  clubs  were  the  Catch  Club,  the  Linnean 
Club,  the  Literary  Society,  the  Royal  Society  Club  and 
the  Dilettanti  Society. 

The  large  room  of  The  Tavern  was  once  hung  with 
portraits  of  the  various  members  of  the  last-named, 
and  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds,  who  was  one  of  them,  painted 
for  the  society  three  important  works,  two  of  which 
were  groups  of  the  Dilettanti,  "in  the  manner  of  Paul 
Veronese,"  and  the  third  a  portrait  of  the  great  painter 

Timbs  says  that  Willis  took  The  Tavern  from  a  Mr 
Freere  about  the  year  1755,  but  it  was  Almack  himself 
who  did  this,  Willis  succeeding  him,  as  he  did,  in  the 
proprietorship  of  "The  Rooms." 

The  success  of  this  venture  induced  Almack  to  seek 
further  fields  to  conquer,  with  the  result  that,  certainly 
previous  to  the  year  1763,  he  had  opened  the  club  in  Pall 
Mall  which  went  by  his  name  and  which  was  notable  for 
the  extent  of  the  gambling  that  was  carried  on  there,  even 
at  a  time  when  gambling  was  practically  universal. 

This  club  was  established  on  the  site  of  the  British  In- 
stitution buildings,  and  Almack  appears  to  have  been  backed 



in  his  venture  by  no  fewer  than  twenty-seven  noblemen  and 
gentlemen,  among  whom  the  Dukes  of  Roxburghe  and 
Portland,1  Lord  Strathmore,  Mr  Crewe  and  Charles  James 
Fox  may  be  mentioned. 

Some  of  the  rules  are  instructive :  thus  No.  22  lays 
down  that  "Dinner  shall  be  served  up  exactly  at  half-past 
four  o'clock,  and  the  bill  shall  be  brought  in  at  seven  " ; 
while  No.  40  orders  "That  every  person  playing  at  the 
new  guinea  table  do  keep  fifty  guineas  before  him.'* 

I  am  not  here  writing  the  history  of  the  club  or  I 
might  startle  this  more  sober  age  by  some  records  of 
the  gambling  there,  but  something  of  it  may  be  surmised 
by  a  reference  to  the  similar  records  of  such  clubs  as 
The  Cocoa  Tree,  and  Brooks's  and  Crockford's,  where, 
as  we  have  seen,  men  won  and  lost  large  fortunes  at  a 

With  the  proceeds  of  his  two  clubs,  which  must  have 
amounted  to  a  very  large  sum  in  a  very  small  space  of 
time,  Almack  erected  the  Rooms  in  King  Street,  St 
James's,  which  are  more  individually  connected  with 
his  career  and,  it  is  likely,  will  serve  to  perpetuate  his 
name  better  than  the  club  by  which  he  first  became 

It  is  unnecessary  to  say  anything  here  of  the  building 
or  its  habitues,  as  I  have  dealt  with  this  subject  in  the 
preceding  chapters.  Nor  is  there  much  more  to  be  said 
of  their  proprietor. 

We  know  from  an  extract  from  one  of  Gilly  Williams 's 
letters,  which  I  have  already  quoted,  that  he  was  in  the 
habit  of  attending  to  his  guests  himself  and  personally 
superintending  his  fashionable  establishment,  and  that 
his  wife  was  an  efficient  coadjutor  in  this  respect. 

It  may  also  be  remarked  that  if  he  did  change  his  name, 

1  The  3rd  Duke,  who  was  First  Lord  of  the  Treasury  from  1807 
to  1809. 



it  did  not  deceive  Gilly  Williams,  who  speaks,  as  we  have 
seen,  of  his  "  Scotch  face." 

Almack  is  said  to  have  lived  during  the  latter  years  of 
his  life  at  Hounslow,  and  to  have  amassed  great  wealth. 
He  died  on  3rd  January  1781,  and  in  the  Morning 
Chronicle  for  6th  January  is  an  obituary  notice  of  him. 

Among  other  provisions  of  his  will  he  left  the  manage- 
ment of  the  famous  Rooms  to  a  niece,  who  had  married 
the  Mr  Willis  after  whom  they  began,  in  later  days,  to 
be  called. 

This  bequest  is  consistent  with  the  fact  that  Almack 
left  the  actual  property  to  his  daughter,  who  had  previously 
become  the  wife  of  David  Pitcairn,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A.,  M.D., 
and  Physician  -  Extraordinary  to  the  Prince  of  Wales. 
Almack  also  had  a  son,  William,  who  is  known  to  have 
been  called  to  the  Bar,  but  who  probably  predeceased 
his  father. 

In  the  early  days  of  Almack 's  popularity  the  men  who 
affected  it,  or  perhaps  I  should  say  who  were  permitted 
to  enter  its  sacred  portals,  were  the  cream  of  the  fine 
gentlemen  of  the  period.  Horace  Walpole  was  of  it, 
almost  as  a  matter  of  course ;  so  was  George  Selwyn ;  but 
alas  !  his  bosom  friend,  my  Lord  March,  was  rejected,  as 
we  have  seen.  Gilly  Williams,  we  may  be  sure,  entered 
it  pretty  freely,  for  many  a  letter  of  his  contains  notes  of 
its  doings. 

The  Dukes  of  Cumberland,  both  he  of  Culloden  notoriety 
and  he  of  fast  life  fame,  assisted  at  its  entertainments. 
One  supposes,  too,  that  my  Lord  Upper  Ossory  came 
pretty  frequently  to  meet  "Graf ton's  Grace,"  with  whom 
he  was  subsequently  to  run  away. 

But  in  the  early  days  of  Almack 's  it  was  the  ladies  who 
ruled  supreme  and  whose  doings  are  chiefly  chronicled  in 
the  gossiping  letters  of  the  period.  During  its  second  phase 
of  popularity,  this  same  characteristic  also  distinguished 



it ;  but  at  the  same  time  there  arose  that  remark- 
able set  of  men  whom  I  may  collectively  term  "The 
Dandies,"  and  these  and  their  doings  and  sayings  made 
as  great  a  stir  as  even  the  goings  and  comings  of  the 
beautiful  and  witty  women  with  whom  they  associated. 
The  late  Lord  Lamington  wrote  of  "The  Days  of  the 
Dandies  " ;  a  French  writer  of  to-day  has  treated  of 
"Dandyism,"  and  incidentally  of  its  chief  exponents; 
and  Barbey  D'Aurevilly  has  left  a  little  masterpiece  on 
Brummell,  the  greatest  of  the  Dandies ;  and  yet  the  sub- 
ject is  never  quite  stale.  The  fact  is  that  the  Dandies 
were  not  mere  clothes-horses ;  they  all,  or  nearly  all  of 
them,  were  men  of  something  above  ordinary  ability,  and 
they  certainly  proved,  what  many  slovenly  men  of  genius, 
and  many  who  think  themselves  men  of  genius  because 
they  are  slovenly,  have  affected  to  doubt,  that  it  is  possible 
to  possess  brains  and  yet  wear  good  coats ;  that  a  fop  is 
not  necessarily  a  fool ;  in  a  word,  that  fine  feathers,  if  they 
do  not  make,  at  least  well  become,  fine  birds  ! 

By  common  consent  the  greatest  of  the  Dandies,  in  the 
earlier  days  of  the  movement,  was  Brummell ;  while  the 
greatest  wearer  of  his  mantle  (and  what  a  cut  that  mantle 
had!)  at  a  later  period  was  Count  D'Orsay. 

I  shall  try  to  say  a  few  words  about  these  two  notable 
men,  as  well  as  about  a  number  of  lesser  stars  that  shone, 
sometimes  by  their  own  radiance,  more  often  perhaps  in 
the  reflected  glory  of  these  twin  luminaries. 

Brummell 's  is  an  heroic  figure,  although  perhaps  not 
many  people  would  be  prepared  to  distinguish  him  by  this 
particular  adjective ;  but  still  an  heroic  figure,  if  you 
think  for  a  moment  of  the  position  he  achieved,  the  power 
he  wielded,  and  then  remember  his  stock-in-trade,  as  it 
were,  for  the  character  of  conqueror.  With  £30,000,  a  love 
of  clean  shirts  and  an  unparalleled  aplomb,  he  made 
himself  adored  by  half  the  society  of  London  and  feared 



by  the  whole.  Royal  dukes  attended  his  morning  levees  ; 
the  greatest  nobles  in  the  land  were  proud  to  watch  the 
progress  of  his  toilette,  and  he — he  spoke  to  them  as  if  they 
were  lackeys ;  he  criticised  their  clothes  as  if  they  were 
liveries.  How  was  it  done  ?  Fifteen  hundred  a  year  in 
the  5  per  cents,  was  not  good  enough,  even  then,  to  place 
anyone  on  such  a  footing  as  he  attained. 

The  fact  is  that  Society  likes  to  be  bullied,  especially  if 
the  bully  be  one  whom  it  knows  to  be  socially  beneath  it ; 
it  is  something  like  permitting  a  spoiled  child  to  take 
liberties.  And  this  child  did  take  liberties.  "  Do  you  call 
that  thing  a  coat?  "  he  once  asked  his  Grace  of  Bedford, 
the  head  of  the  Russells,  the  owner  of  how  much  of 
London.  "In  Heaven's  name,  my  dear  Duchess,  what 
is  the  meaning  of  that  extraordinary  back  of  yours  ?  I 
declare  I  must  put  you  on  a  back-board ;  you  must 
positively  walk  out  of  the  room  backwards,  that  I  mayn't 
see  it,"  he  once  had  the  "audacious  effrontery,"  as  Lady 
Hester  Stanhope  says,  to  remark  to  the  Duchess  of  Rut- 
land in  the  midst  of  a  great  ball.  On  another  occasion  he 
walked  up  to  Lady  Hester  himself  and  coolly  took  out  the 
earrings  she  was  wearing,  as  an  indication  that  he  con- 
sidered they  hid  the  turn  of  her  neck,  which  is  said  to  have 
been  very  beautiful.  "  Port  ?  Port  ? — oh,  port ! — oh,  ay ; 
what!  the  hot  intoxicating  liquor  so  much  drunk  by 
the  lower  orders  ?  "  he  lisped  to  someone  who  asked  him 
if  he  liked  the  wine.  He  was  annoyed  because  an 
acquaintance  once  reminded  him  of  a  debt  of  £500  ;  "  and 
yet,"  he  almost  pathetically  exclaimed,  "I  had  called 
the  dog  Tom,  and  let  myself  dine  with  him !  "  His 
batterie  de  toilette  was  of  silver,  for,  said  he,  "'tis  im- 
possible for  a  gentleman  to  spit  in  clay,"  knowing  full 
well  that  his  auditors,  probably  a  few  stray  dukes, 
were  not  accustomed  to  spit  in  anything  else.  And  so 
on,  and  so  on,  down  to  the  impudence  of,  "Wales, 



ring  the  bell,"  and  the  sublimity  of   "Who's  your  fat 
friend  ?  " 

The  stories  are  as  well  known  as  Sydney  Smith's 
witticisms  or  Sheridan's  impromptu  bons  mots. 

Brummell  was  no  fool  —  we  have  Lady  Hester  Stan- 
hope's word  for  that;  indeed,  the  whole  thing  was  a 
skilfully  thought-out  pose,  which  took  on  with  the  blase 
society  in  which  Brummell  moved;  and  how  well  for  a 
time  it  succeeded  let  Captain  Jesse,  with  his  two  octavo 
volumes  on  the  subject,  attest. 

Here  is  a  vignette  of  the  Beau's  customary  toilet-leve'e 
given  by  Lady  Hester :  "  Sometimes  he  would  have  a 
dozen  dukes  and  marquises  waiting  for  him  whilst  he  was 
brushing  his  teeth  or  dressing  himself,  and  would  turn 
round  with  the  utmost  coolness  and  say  to  them :  '  Well, 
what  do  you  want  ?  Don't  you  see  I  am  brushing  my 
teeth  ?  '  Then  he  would  cry  :  '  Oh  !  there's  a  spot — ah  ! 
it's  nothing  but  a  little  coffee.  Well,  this  is  an  excellent 
powder,  but  I  won't  let  any  of  you  have  the  receipt  for  it. ' ' 

And  yet  day  after  day  would  this  fashionable  crowd 
congregate  to  see  that  wonderful  ceremony — no  other 
word  will  serve — of  the  toilet  of  George  Bryan  Brummell — 
that  ceremony  which  took  up  the  best  part  of  the  morning. 
I  need  not  recapitulate  Jesse's  minute  account  of  it; 
suffice  it  to  say  that  as  much  trouble,  care  and  time,  was 
expended  on  the  cravat  alone  as  would  have  sufficed  a 
mere  man  to  make  a  fortune ;  and,  in  a  sense,  it  was  a 
fortune  that  the  dandy  was  making. 

The  Regent  once  said  that  he  was  "a  mere  tailor's 
dummy  to  hang  clothes  on  " ;  but  this  was  unfair  coming 
from  such  lips,  for  George,  Prince  of  Wales,  owed  much  of 
his  sartorial  fame  to  Brummell.  He  copied  his  garments : 
he  used  to  give  as  much  as  £100  a-piece  for  the  patterns 
of  those  fine  chintz  dressing-gowns  which  the  Beau  had 
introduced;  he  wore  the  trouser  which  the  dandy  had 
Q  241 


imported  from  Germany,  and — he  let  his  friend  starve 
when  he  had  done  with  him  ! 

I  don't  know  that  Brummell  had  much  wit ;  one  or  two 
stories  seem,  indeed,  to  indicate  some  faint  glimmer  of  it, 
but  his  mental  stock-in-trade  was  his  impudence. 

Here  is  a  sheaf  of  anecdotes  from  the  Brummell 
repertoire.  All  the  world  knows  of  his  once  staying  in  a 
country  house,  and  asking  a  friend  whom  the  distinguished- 
looking  man  was  leaning  against  the  mantelpiece. 
"  Why,  your  host ;  don't  you  know  him  ?  "  "  Know  him  ! 
— No,  why  should  I  ?  I  have  never  been  invited  here  !  " 
But  this  curious  liking  for  visiting  houses  uninvited — 
curious,  inasmuch  as  Brummell  practically  had  the  entree 
anywhere — once  led  to  another  and  less  successful  example 
of  his  impertinence.  Two  ladies  named  Johnson  and 
Thompson,  living  respectively  in  Finsbury  Square  and 
Grosvenor  Square,  both  gave  a  party  on  the  same  night, 
and  the  Beau  was  invited  to  the  house  of  the  former. 
He,  however,  elected  to  shed  the  light  of  his  countenance 
on  the  Grosvenor  Square  assembly,  where  he  hoped  to 
meet  the  Regent,  with  whom  he  was  not  then  on  terms 
of  amity.  On  his  arrival,  Mrs  Thompson,  forgetting  her 
politeness  in  her  annoyance,  and  probably  fearing  the  loss 
of  the  Regent's  favour  if  he  found  his  enemy  within  her 
walls,  asked  Brummell  to  leave.  The  latter,  making 
many  apologies,  drew  slowly  from  his  pocket  the  invitation 
he  had  received  from  the  lady  of  Finsbury  Square  and 
tendered  it  to  Mrs  Thompson  as  his  reason  for  being  in 
her  rooms.  Being  indignantly  informed  that  her  name 
was  Thompson  and  not  Johnson,  "Dear  me,  how  very 
unfortunate,"  replied  he,  "but  you  know  Johnson  and 
Thompson — I  mean  Thompson  and  Johnson  are  so  very 
much  alike.  Mrs  Johnson — Thompson,  I  wish  you  good 

He  was  once  in  the  10th  Hussars,  but  left  that  crack 



regiment  when  the  order  went  forth  that  it  was  to  be 
stationed  at  Manchester — Manchester  ! 

One  cannot  imagine  Brummell  as  a  soldier,  attending 
drill,  looking  after  his  men,  fighting — surely  far  too  vulgar 
a  pursuit !  Indeed,  he  is  traditionally  said  to  have  known 
his  corps  only  by  the  large  nose  of  one  of  the  men ;  and 
when  the  latter  was  drafted  into  another  regiment, 
Brummell  went  up  to  it,  on  parade,  a,nd  pointed  out  the 
nasal  organ  as  a  proof  that  it  was  his  regiment. 

If  he  was  ever  witty,  then  the  remark  he  made  to 
"Poodle  "  Byng  may  be  regarded  as  a  slender  proof  of  it,  for, 
meeting  Byng  driving  with  a  caniche  by  his  side,  he  called 
out :  "Ah,  how  d'ye  do,  Byng ! — a  family  vehicle  I  see." 

On  another  occasion  he  was  reproached  by  the  father 
of  a  certain  young  man  for  having  led  astray  and  ruined 
the  latter :  "Why,  sir,"  he  replied,  "I  did  all  I  could  for 
him.  I  once  gave  him  my  arm  all  the  way  from  White's 
to  Brooks 's." 

It  is  sad  to  have  to  confess  that  this  "  glass  of  fashion  " 
acted  sometimes  in  a  way  that  a  coal-heaver  would  have 
been  ashamed  of  doing.  Once  at  a  dinner-party  he 
questioned  the  quality  of  the  champagne,  and  called  out 
to  the  servant  not  to  give  him  "  any  more  of  that  cider  " ; 
at  another  time,  finding  a  chicken  wing  too  tough  for  his 
delicate  jaws,  he  took  it  up  in  his  napkin  and  flung  it  to 
his  dog — for  he  insisted  on  taking  the  only  thing  he  prob- 
ably ever  cared  for  with  him,  even  to  strange  houses — 
exclaiming :  "Here,  Atons,  see  if  you  can  get  your  teeth 

through  it,  for  I'm  d d  if  I  can."    Which  is  on  a  par 

with  the  horrible  grimaces  he  used  to  make  if  the  flavour 
of  a  dish  did  not  please  him,  or  he  thought  he  detected 
some  foreign  substance  in  the  soup. 

Often  as  the  fear  or  politeness  of  his  host  or  hostess 
allowed  such  ill  manners  to  go  unreproved,  Brummell 
sometimes  met  more  than  his  match  in  these  encounters, 



and  whenever  this  was  the  case,  he  showed  his  lack  of 
repartee  and  not  infrequently  his  fear  of  chastisement. 

Once  he  was  airily  taking  away  someone's  character 
when  a  friend  of  the  absent  one  demanded  satisfaction  or 
an  apology  in  five  minutes.  "Five  minutes!  —  in  five 
seconds,"  replied  the  trembling  Beau,  as  he  stammered 
out  his  regrets. 

But  it  was  Lord  Mayor  Combe  who  voiced  what  many 
people  thought,  but  hardly  liked  to  express,  of  the  char- 
acter of  Brummell.  The  scene  was  Brooks's,  and  the 
brewer  (for  Combe  was  of  the  great  firm  which  still  exists) 
and  Beau  were  playing  together:  "Come,  Mash-tub," 
cried  the  latter,  "what  do  you  set?"  "A  pony,"  was 
the  reply,  which  Brummell  won,  together,  it  is  said,  with 
eleven  more  "ponies."  "Thank  you,  Alderman;  in 
future  I  shall  drink  no  porter  but  yours. "  "  I  wish,"  was 
the  reply,  "  that  every  other  blackgwrd  in  London  would 
tell  me  the  same. " 

But  one  must  make  an  end,  and  these  are  but  a  tithe  of 
the  stories  connected  with  the  Beau.  As  I  have  indicated, 
they  show  but  two  things — one,  that,  like  all  bullies  by 
nature,  he  disregarded  entirely  people's  feelings,  and  the 
other,  that  he  cut  a  very  poor  figure  when  he  met  his  match. 

An  illustration  in  Captain  Gronow's  book  shows  him  as 
he  appeared  at  Almack's,  in  1815,  in  company  with  the 
Duchess  of  Rutland  (whose  back  gave  him  such  pain), 
the  Comte  de  St  Antonio,  afterwards  Due  di  Canizzaro, 
and  the  Princess  Esterhazy,  one  of  the  most  potent  of 
the  patronesses. 

The  original  sketch  in  water-colours  of  this  picture  was 
presented  to  Brummell  by  the  artist.  At  the  sale  of  the 
dandy's  effects  in  Chapel  Street,  Mayfair,  it  was  purchased 
by  a  friend  of  Gronow's,  who  subsequently  gave  it  to  him. 

Here  is  Gronow's  description  of  the  people  depicted, 
whom  he  considered  "well  worthy  of  notice,  both  from 



the  position  they  held  in  the  fashionable  world,  and  from 
their  being  represented  with  great  truth  and  accuracy." 

"The  great  George  Brummell,"  he  proceeds,  "the 
Admirable  Crichton  of  the  age,  stands  in  a  degage  attitude, 
with  his  fingers  in  his  waistcoat  pocket.  His  neckcloth  is 
inimitable,  and  must  have  cost  him  much  time  and  trouble 
to  arrive  at  such  perfection,  as  the  following  anecdote 
shows : — A  friend  calling  on  the  Beau  saw  the  valet  with 
an  armful  of  flowing  white  cravats  and  asked  him  if  his 
master  wanted  so  many  at  once.  'These,  sir,  are  our 
failures, '  was  the  reply.  '  Clean  linen  and  plenty  of  it, '  was 
BrummeU's  maxim.  He  is  talking  earnestly  to  the  charm- 
ing Duchess  of  Rutland,  who  was  a  Howard  and  mother 
to  the  present  Duke.1  The  tall  man  in  a  black  coat,  who 
is  preferring  to  waltz  with  Princess  Esterhazy,  so  long 
Ambassadress  of  Austria  in  London,  is  the  Comte  de  St 
Antonio,  afterwards  Duke  of  Canizzaro.  He  resided  many 
years  in  England,  was  a  very  handsome  man  and  a  great 
lady-killer ;  he  married  an  English  heiress,  Miss  Johnson." 

Other  personages  who  figured  in  the  same  sketch  were 
Charles,  Marquis  of  Queensberry ;  Baron  de  Neumann,  then 
Secretary  to  the  Austrian  Embassy ;  Sir  George  Warrender 
(who  was  styled  by  his  friends  Sir  George  Provender, 
being  famed  for  his  good  dinners);  and  the  Comte  St 
Aldegonde,  then  aide-de-camp  to  the  Duke  of  Orleans, 
afterwards  Louis-Philippe. 

Chief  among  the  Dandies,  after  Brummell,  were  Lords 
Alvanley,  Worcester,  and  Foley,  Charles  Standish,  Brad- 
shaw,  Henry  de  Ros,  John  Mills,  Henry  Pierrepoint, 
Hervey  Aston,  the  Duke  of  Argyll,  "Dan"  Mackinnon, 
Edward  Montagu,  "Rufus"  Lloyd  and  George  Dawson 
Darner;  while  to  these  names  may  be  added  those  of 
several  well-known  men  about  town,  who,  if  not  exactly 

1  She  was  Lady  Elizabeth  Howard,  daughter  of  the  5th  Earl  of 
Carlisle,  and  married  the  5th  Duke  of  Rutland  in  1799. 



beaux,  at  least  were  in  the  first  flight  of  fashion  and 
consequently  qualified  to  shine — as  they  frequently  did 
— at  Almack's. 

Of  these  were  "King  "Allen,  "Ball"  Hughes,  the 
"Silent  "  Hare,  Jack  Talbot,  "Teapot  "  Crawfurd,  "Kan- 
garoo "  Cooke,  Scrope  Davies  and  "Poodle  "  Byng.  The 
great  D'Orsay  deserves  a  niche  to  himself  and  shall  have  it, 
after  I  have  said  a  word  about  some  of  these  lesser  Dandies. 

Perhaps  the  greatest  of  them  was  Lord  Alvanley; 
certainly,  if  tradition  is  to  be  believed,  he  was  one  of  the, 
if  not  the,  wittiest.  Just  as  at  a  former  period  all  the  good 
things  were  attributed  to  Sheridan  and,  at  a  later  day,  to 
Sydney  Smith,  so  in  the  early  years  of  the  nineteenth 
century  were  all  the  witticisms  set  down  to  the  account  of 
Alvanley.  A  contemporary,  in  an  enthusiastic  outburst, 
calls  him  "the  magnificent,  the  witty,  the  famous  and 
the  chivalrous,"  and  asserts  that  he  was  "the  idol  of  the 
clubs  and  of  Society,  from  the  King  to  the  ensign  of  the 
Guards."  Which  would  sound  hyperbolic  did  we  not 
know  that  he  had  lived  in  nearly  all  the  Courts  of  Europe 
and  was  not  only  a  remarkable  linguist  but  an  excellent 
classical  scholar,  and  that  his  'naivete  was  such  that  it 
exercised  a  charm  over  all  who  knew  him.  But  when 
this  has  been  said  I  don't  know  that  his  life  would  be 
considered  as  an  example  for  youth,  although  possibly 
an  excellent  tract  might  be  made  out  of  it. 

Living  in  the  society  he  did,  it  goes  without  saying  that 
he  was  extravagant,  cynical  and,  if  not  exactly  what  one 
would  call  immoral,  certainly  not  up  to  the  ethical  standard 
which  stern  moralists  would  require. 

But  his  dinners  were  perfect — indeed,  the  best  in  London 
at  the  time,  and  a  good  dinner  hides  a  host  of  delinquencies. 
There  were,  indeed,  giants  in  those  days,  and  Alvanley 
was  of  them.  He  had  a  passion  for  apricots,  and  ordered 
a  tart  of  this  fruit  to  be  served  every  day  throughout  the 



year.  Fearful  of  the  expense  his  cook  remonstrated. 
11  Go  to  Gunter's,"  exclaimed  his  lordship,  "and  buy  all 
the  preserved  apricots  he  has,  and  don't  bother  me 

any   more  about  the  d d   expense."    This  was   an 

easy  way  out  of  the  difficulty,  for  it  was  a  notorious 
fact  that  Alvanley  never  by  any  chance  paid  ready 
money  for  anything.  Which,  by  the  by,  gives  point 
to  the  story  that  his  friend  Armstrong  asked  him,  on 
once  being  shown  a  fine  hunter,  how  much  he  had  paid 
for  it.  "I  awe  Milton  three  hundred  guineas  for  it,"  was 
the  tranquil  reply. 

The  fact  is  that,  although  he  inherited  from  his  father 
a  considerable  income,  he  was  perennially  in  debt  and,  like 
Digby  Grant,  he  "had  no  ready  money  for  anybody." 
Not  that  this  seems  to  have  greatly  troubled  him;  and 
Moore  tells  a  story  of  his  writing  to  a  friend  on  one  occa- 
sion thus:  "I  have  no  credit  with  either  butcher  or 
poulterer,  but  if  you  can  put  up  with  turtle  and  turbot 
I  shall  be  happy  to  see  you." 

He  had,  too,  a  happy  turn  for  impromptus  and 
repartees,  of  the  former  of  which  gifts  the  following  is 
an  example : — He  was  driving  with  Berkeley  Craven  when 
their  carriage  broke  down  and  the  latter  got  out  to  thrash 
the  coachman  for  carelessness,  but,  finding  he  was  an  old 
fellow,  said:  'Your  age  protects  you,"  whereupon 
Alvanley  advanced  to  administer  chastisement  to  the 
postilion,  when,  observing  that  he  was  a  young  athletic- 
looking  fellow,  he  exclaimed  in  a  waggish  way:  "Your 
youth  protects  you." 

There  is,  too,  the  story  variously  told  of  his  being 
shown  the  beautiful  decorations  of  his  house  by  a  parvenu 
millionaire,  supposed  to  have  been  Mr  Neeld,  what  time 
dinner  was  awaiting  them,  when  Alvanley,  bored  and 
hungry,  exclaimed:  "Let's  leave  the  gilding  and  come 
to  the  carving." 



He  had  also  a  knack  of  fixing  nicknames  which  stuck, 
one  of  the  best  being  that  applied  to  Lord  Conyngham,  to 
whom  Canning  had  given  an  appointment  out  of  defer- 
ence, it  was  supposed,  to  George  IV.  ;  he  went  about 
calling  him  Canningham. 

Another  bon  mot  which  was  set  down  to  his  account 
was  the  remark  apropos  of  Brummell's  departure  for  the 
Continent  in  consequence  of  the  pressure  put  on  him  by 
Soloman,  the  notorious  moneylender  of  the  time.  "He 
did  quite  right  to  be  off  ;  it  was  Soloman's  judgment." 

Alvanley  was  intimate  with  Talleyrand,  that  master  of 
mots,  and  there  is  little  doubt  that  his  wits  were  sharpened 
by  many  a  "set-to"  with  this  redoubtable  antagonist. 
Indeed,  as  Raikes  says,  his  amiable  manners  and  his 
talents  made  him  a  welcome  guest  everywhere,  and  he 
numbered  among  his  friends  the  great  ones  of  half  the 
countries  of  Europe. 

As  a  politician  he  held  no  mean  rank,  although  he  was 
one  of  those  who  cared  not  for  office.  His  pamphlet  on 
the  state  of  Ireland  shows  that  he  could  present  a  case  in 
clear  and  forcible  language ;  but,  politically,  he  is  best 
remembered  by  his  conflict  with  O'Connell,  who  called 
him  a  "  bloated  buffoon "  and  whom  he  immediately 
challenged.  The  gage  was  taken  up  by  the  agitator's 
son,  and  the  parties  met  and  exchanged  more  shots  than 
was  at  the  time  considered  necessary ;  however,  none  of 
them  took  effect,  but  the  encounter  enhanced  Alvanley 's 
reputation  as  a  wit  and  confirmed  him  as  a  man  of  courage, 
for  to  the  coachman  who  drove  him  to  and  from  the  ground 
he  gave  a  sovereign,  and  when  the  man  observed  that  it 
was  more  than  his  due  (one  wonders,  by  the  by,  where 
that  sort  of  cabby  is  to  be  found  nowadays  !)  he  replied  : 
"It  is  not  for  carrying  me  there,  my  good  fellow,  but  for 
bringing  me  back." 

It  was  characteristic  of  the  man  that  when  someone 



told  him  that  the  world  was  indebted  to  him  for  calling 
out  O'Connell  he  should  reply :  "I'm  glad  to  hear  it,  for 
now  the  world  and  I  are  quits." 

That  he  did  not  desert  his  friends  is  proved  by  his 
letters  to  Brummell  when  the  latter  was  in  exile  at  Calais, 
which  oftener  than  not  contained  substantial  cheques, 
although  he  could  not  resist  a  harmless  pleasantry  on  the 
Beau,  whom  he  termed  the  one  and  only  Dandelion  of 
fashion,  most  lions  being  annuals,  but  Brummell  being 

Alvanley  was  an  altogether  superior  man  to  many  of 
those  who  surrounded  him  and  made  up  the  sum  of  those 
Dandies  who  gave  an  added  brilliance  to  Almack's  and  the 
other  haunts  of  fashion. 

If  he  was  extravagant,  extravagance  was  in  the  air,  and 
one  could  hardly  be  the  friend  of  the  Duke  of  York  and 
make  a  reputation  as  a  man  of  fashion  under  the  Regency 
without  a  continual  loosening  of  the  purse-strings.1 

Of  many  of  the  Dandies  who  graced  Almack's  assemblies 
there  is,  in  truth,  but  little  to  be  said.  They  passed  across 
the  stage  of  fashion  and  have  left  in  the  memoirs  of  their 
day  here  and  there  a  trace  of  their  passage,  but  hardly 
material  for  any  particular  delineation. 

Such  men  as  Lord  Worcester,2  Lord  Foley  and  the  Duke 
of  Argyll,  of  course,  have  a  place  in  the  noble  annals  of 
the  land  from  their  position  as  hereditary  legislators  as 
well  as  that  of  leaders  of  fashion.  Such  as  Pierrepoint, 
Standish,  Bradshaw  and  Mills,  may  be  regarded  as  almost 
international  types,  being  as  much  en  evidence  in  the 
dandified  circles  of  Paris  as  in  those  of  London ;  while 

1  There    is   a   coloured    caricature   by  Deighton,   representing 
Alvanley  going  to  White's,  dated  1819,  see  page  177. 

2  Afterwards   7th   Duke    of  Beaufort,  and   noted,  like  all  the 
Somerset   family,   for   his   inherent   courtliness    and    charm   of 



many  of  the  others  are  really  but  names — et  praeterea 
nihil ! 

Truth  to  tell,  the  lives  of  most  Dandies  was  but  a  dress- 
ing and  an  undressing,  a  preparation  for  conquest,  a 
repetition  of  conquests.  Danton's  de  Vaudace,  de  Vaudace, 
et  toujours  de  Vaudace,  might  well  have  stood  for  their 

But  about  the  phantoms  of  some  of  those  I  have  men- 
tioned anecdotes  have  clustered,  and  before  I  say  a  word 
about  the  greatest  and  last  of  them,  Count  D'Orsay,  it 
may  not  be  uninteresting  to  rescue  one  or  two  of  these  for 
the  reader's  amusement. 

It  will  be  observed  that  several  of  the  Dandies  have  been 
distinguished  by  nicknames,  almost  a  certain  proof  that 
they  have  made  some  stir  in  the  world  of  fashion  if 
nowhere  else. 

"Teapot"  Crawfurd  is  a  case  in  point,  and  he  was 
certainly  one  of  those  who  bore  out  Wellington's  assertion 
that  the  Dandies  fought  splendidly  in  Spain.  He  was  in 
the  10th  Hussars,  and  even  in  that  crack  regiment  his 
immense  strength,  handsome  appearance  and  proverbial 
bravery,  made  him  a  marked  man. 

When  his  regiment  was  inspected  by  the  Prince 
Regent  before  leaving  for  the  Peninsula  his  Royal 
Highness,  who  was  always  ready  with  a  generous  and 
appropriate  word,  is  said  to  have  exclaimed  to  him : 
"Go,  my  boy,  and  show  the  world  what  stuff  you  are 
made  of.  You  possess  strength,  youth  and  courage  ;  go 
and  conquer." 

The  field  of  Orthes,  where  he  was  in  the  front  of 
the  charge,  could  witness  that  these  words  were  not 
exaggerated  or  thrown  away  upon  him. 

He  married  Lady  Barbara  Coventry  and  made  a  good 
husband,  which  is  a  fact  worth  noting,  and  we  have 
Gronow's  authority  for  knowing  that  as  a  companion  he 



was  charming,  his  bewitching  manner  making  him  friends 

The  familiar  "  Teapot  "  had  its  origin  so  far  back  as  his 
Eton  days,  when  he  was  accustomed  to  brew  his  tea  in 
an  old  black  teapot,  which  he  carefully  cherished  in  his 
maturer  years  of  dandyism  and  campaigning. 

Another  of  the  set,  the  "  Silent  "  Hare,  was  known  by 
this  adjectival  affix,  on  the  Ittcus  a  non  lucendo  principle, 
for  it  was  bestowed  on  him  because  of  his  notorious 
loquacity  —  a  loquacity  which  found  vent  in  many 
languages,  and  numerous  stories  are  told  which  not  only 
illustrate  this,  but  also  prove  the  extent  of  his  knowledge 
and  his  surprising  memory. 

One  shall  suffice  here,  and  this  one  is  interesting, 
inasmuch  as  it  has  also  been  attributed  to  the  learned 
Master  of  Trinity,  Dr  Whewell,  and  in  our  own  day  to 
Mr  Gladstone. 

On  a  certain  occasion,  while  staying  in  a  country  house, 
some  of  his  friends  made  bets  that  they  would  introduce 
a  subject  at  dinner  which  should  be  too  much  even  for  his 
seemingly  universal  knowledge.  To  this  end  they  read 
up  an  abstruse  article  in  an  old  magazine  on  Chinese 
music,  and,  primed  with  the  knowledge  thus  obtained, 
opened  the  discussion  with  the  soup  and  kept  it  up  gaily 
between  themselves.  Hare,  for  once  really  living  up  to 
his  nickname,  preserved  a  stolid  silence.  At  length,  when 
his  tormentors  had  nearly  exhausted  the  subject  in  all  its 
bearings,  he  broke  in  and  contradicted  their  statements 
severally  and  at  large,  and  finally  proved  them  all  wrong 
in  their  facts  and  conclusions,  ending  up  with:  "I  see, 
my  good  fellows,  whence  you  have  taken  your  impressions 
on  the  subject.  You  have  evidently  been  reading  an 
article  I  wrote  some  ten  years  ago,  but  since  then  I 
have  studied  the  matter  afresh  and  have  conversed  with 
well-informed  travellers,  and  I  have  arrived  at  directly 



opposite  conclusions  to  those  I  held  when  I  penned  the 

"King  "  Allen,  otherwise  Viscount  Allen,  an  Irish  peer, 
was  another  of  the  noticeable  men  about  town  of  this 
period.  Always  well  groomed  and  somewhat  pompous- 
looking,  he  is  said  to  have  confined  his  walking  exercise 
entirely  to  daily  promenades  between  Crockford's  and 

Allen  was  one  of  Wellington's  fighting  Dandies,  having 
distinguished  himself  at  Talavera,  where  he  and  his  men 
were  nearly  exterminated. 

He  appears  to  have  been  an  arbiter  elegantiarum,  and  to 
some  extent  a  patron  of  the  opera  and  the  theatres,  but 
his  perennial  want  of  ready  money  must  have  made  his 
patronage  rather  theoretical  than  practical,  and  I  think 
must  have  embittered  him,  for  what  anecdotes  survive 
indicate  a  certain  acerbity  of  temper,  not  at  all  consonant 
with  the  traditionally  sunny  nature  of  a  lounger  in  Pall 
Mall  or  Bond  Street. 

His  reputation  as  a  diner-out  was  well  sustained ;  and 
it  is  probable  that  he  managed  to  scrape  along,  chiefly  by 
the  aid  of  these  eleemosynary  feasts,  as  Fielding  would 
have  termed  them ;  at  least  so  thought  one  of  his  out- 
spoken female  friends,  who  once  told  him  that  his  title 
was  as  good  as  board  wages  to  him. 

He  was  a  great  friend  of  Sir  Robert  Peel,  and  once  when 
driving  with  him  in  the  environs  of  Dublin  his  post-boy 
had  the  misfortune  to  drive  over  an  old  woman,  where- 
upon an  angry  crowd  quickly  assembled,  and  matters 
looked  ominous,  when  the  majestic  form  of  Allen  arose 
in  the  carriage,  and  his  voice  was  heard  exclaiming : 
"Now,  post-boy,  go  on,  and  don't  drive  over  any  more 

1  This  Hare  is  not  to  be  confounded  with  the  friend  of  Selwyn, 
called  "  The  Hare  with  many  friends  "  by  the  Duchess  of  Gordon, 
who  was  also  noted  for  his  wit. 



old  women,"  and  the  mob  made  way  at  once  for  one  whose 
dignity  and  coolness  could  not  be  gainsaid. 

Ball  Hughes,  sometimes  called  The  Golden  Ball,  was  a 
very  different  person.  He  was  a  sort  of  millionaire,  which 
was  in  those  days  a  rarer  thing  than  it  is  now,  and  he 
seems  to  have  been  regarded  with  most  favourable  eyes 
by  many  mothers  ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  the  daughters 
could  never  be  made  to  recognise  how  eligible  a  parti 
was  in  their  midst.  Not  even  a  course  of  Almack's  was 
sufficient  to  break  them  in !  Why  Lady  Jane  Paget 
should  have  thrown  him  over  at  the  very  last  moment ; 
why  Lady  Caroline  Churchill  should  have  refused  him 
point  blank  ;  why  Miss  Floyd,  who  subsequently  married 
Sir  Robert  Peel,  should  have  found  him  wanting,  are 
among  the  mysteries,  for  he  is  described  as  being  both 
handsome  and  well  set  up,  with  excellent  manners,  and 
with  forty  thousand  a  year  1 

As  a  result  he  married  the  once  celebrated  and  much- 
run-after  danseuse,  Mademoiselle  Mercandotti — a  marriage 
which  was  for  a  few  days  the  talk  of  the  town.  He  carried 
off  his  bride  to  the  seclusion  of  Oatlands,  which  he  had 
purchased  from  the  Duke  of  York,  and  the  following 
epigram  was  written  by  Ainsworth,  on  the  event : — 

"  The  fair  damsel  is  gone ;  and  no  wonder  at  all 
That,  bred  to  the  dance,  she  is  gone  to  a  ball. " 

Of  Jack  Talbot,  that  champion  and  idol  of  the  fair  sex, 
who  used  to  say  that  he  would  sooner  disoblige  his  father 
or  his  best  friend  than  a  pretty  woman,  I  need  not  say 
much.  He  was  a  friend  of  Brummell  and  Alvanley,  and, 
indeed,  so  far  as  can  be  ascertained,  of  anyone  with  whom 
he  was  brought  in  contact ;  he  had,  however,  two  failings, 
and  they  were — claret  and  sherry.  Alvanley  once  said 
that  if  he  were  tapped,  more  of  the  former  wine  than  of 
blood  would  have  been  found  in  his  veins ;  and  he  is 



known  to  have  drunk  the  latter  at  breakfast,  as  an 
ordinary  man  drinks  tea  or  coffee. 

It  was  hardly  appropriate  that  he  should  be  found  dead 
in  his  chair,  with  half  a  bottle  of  sherry  still  left  standing 
on  the  table  beside  him ! 

Another  of  the  same  gay  set  was  Scrope  Davies,  who 
was  such  an  admirer  of  Tom  Moore's  genius  that  he  used 
to  say  the  proper  translation  of  the  Horatian  line,  *'  Ubi 
plura  nitent,  non.  egopaucis  offendar  maculis,"  was  "  Moore 
shines  so  brightly  that  I  cannot  find  fault  with  Little's 
vagaries  " ;  while  he  rendered  Ne  plus  ultra  as  "Nothing 
better  than  Moore. "  He  was,  indeed,  particularly  ready 
in  repartee  and  quotation,  and  was  the  type  of  the  Dandy 
— plus  mind.  It  is  probable  that  he  is  best  remembered 
by  his  reply  to  Brummell's  appeal  for  money  on  the  eve  of 
the  latter's  departure  for  Calais : 

"My  dear  Scrope,"  wrote  Brummell,  "Lend  me  £500 
for  a  few  days ;  the  funds  are  shut  for  the  dividends, 
or  I  would  not  have  made  this  request."  Quick  as 
lightning  came  the  reply  :  "My  Dear  Brummell,  all  my 
money  is  locked  up  in  the  funds." 

The  name  of  "  Poodle  "  Byng  is  one  that  greets  us 
continually  in  the  pages  of  the  social  annals  of  this  period. 
As  we  have  seen,  his  familiar  prefix  was  the  hook  on  which 
Brummell  hung  one  of  his  witty  sayings ;  and,  indeed,  it 
was  asserted  that  the  nickname  had  been  first  given  him 
because  he  was  accustomed  to  drive  out  in  his  "tilbury  " 
with  a  poodle  by  his  side.  Had  this  been  so,  then 
BrummelPs  remark  would  have  lacked  what  little  wit  can 
be  attached  to  it ;  but,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  Byng,  or  rather 
the  Hon.  Frederick  Byng,  to  give  him  his  proper  designa- 
tion, himself  once  gave  its  true  origin.  When  young,  he 
was  noted  for  his  thick  curly  head  of  hair,  and  Lady  Bath 
and  Georgiana,  Duchess  of  Devonshire,  were  both  wont 
to  call  him  "their  poodle  "  on  this  account. 



"Kangaroo"  Cooke,  so  called  because,  on  once  being 
asked  by  the  Duke  of  York  what  sort  of  food  he  got  in  the 
Peninsula,  replied  that  "he  could  get  nothing  to  eat  but 
kangaroo,"  and  "Dan  "  Mackinnon,  noted  for  his  agility 
and  his  love  of  practical  joking,  and  of  whom  Grimaldi 
once  said  that  "Colonel  Mackinnon  has  only  to  put  on  the 
motley  costume  and  he  would  totally  eclipse  me,"  were 
among  the  lesser  lights  of  Almack's  and  the  clubs — men 
whose  names  are  remembered  by  a  chance  saying,  some 
strange  freak,  or  at  best  by  a  "  bubble  reputation  " ;  but 
with  the  great  D'Orsay  the  case  is  different.  His  name 
stands,  as  that  of  Brummell  formerly  stood,  for  the  type 
of  dandy.  Had  Carlyle  chosen  to  study  the  hero  in 
another  incarnation,  or  had  Emerson  wished  to  make  his 
representative  men  embrace  yet  another  class,  there  can 
be  little  doubt  but  that  they  would  have  each  selected 
Brummell  and  D'Orsay  as  the  mannequins  on  which  to  fit 
the  clothes  of  their  philosophy. 

Count  D'Orsay  was  the  last  and  in  many  respects  the 
greatest  of  the  Dandies.  He  dressed  as  well  as  Brummell 
and  his  manners  were  infinitely  better ;  he  was,  besides, 
a  man  of  wit  and  many  accomplishments — a  sculptor  and 
a  clever  artist,  besides  being  extremely  handsome  and  of 
fine  physique.  "When  he  appeared  in  the  perfection  of 
dress,"  says  one  who  knew  him,  "with  that  expression 
of  self-confidence  and  self-complacency  which  the  sense 
of  superiority  gives,  he  was  the  observed  of  all."  His 
kindliness  of  disposition  was,  too,  proverbial,  and  his  wit 
was  only  equalled  by  his  appreciation  of  wit  in  others. 

Of  course  it  goes  without  saying  that  he  was  extrava- 
gant— it  was  his  role  to  be  so  ;  but  if,  as  Lord  Lamington 
says,  "  he  was  sui  profusus,  he  was  never  alieni  appetens," 
and  greater  men  have  had  worse  epitaphs. 

When  he  appeared  at  Almack's  he  was  the  cynosure 
of  every  eye,  as  Brummell  had  been  before  him.  But 



whereas  the  latter  was  feared  and  imitated,  the  former 
was  "  dressed  at "  and  regarded  with  something  as  near 
affection  as  any  man  can  be  who  is  superior  to  his  fellows 
in  dress,  in  looks  and  in  manners. 

The  general  consensus  of  contemporary  opinion  is 
favourable  to  D'Orsay,  and  even  his  connection  with  Lady 
Blessington  seems  only  to  have  misled  those  who,  like 
Creevey,  were  willing,  if  not  anxious,  to  be  misled  into 
regarding  it  as  nothing  but  a  vulgar  liaison.  Their  con- 
duct was,  doubtless,  injudicious  in  the  highest  degree,  but 
I  think  it  may  be  regarded  as  only  injudicious. 

Count  D'Orsay  seems  to  have  inherited  his  good  looks 
from  his  father,  one  of  Napoleon's  officers,  whom  that 
critic  of  men  once  described  as  "  aussi  brave  que  beau  " ; 
his  wit  from  his  mother,  an  illegitimate  daughter  of  the 
King  of  Wtlrtemberg;  and  his  artistic  tastes  from  his 
paternal  grandfather,  who  lost  most  of  his  treasures  during 
the  Revolution. 

From  a  child,  D'Orsay  was  notable,  both  physically  and 
mentally,  and  his  attachment  to  the  Bonapartes,  inculcated 
in  his  youthful  mind,  seems,  notwithstanding  some  causes 
for  complaint  during  his  latter  years,  never  to  have  left 

After  serving  in  the  Army  he  came  to  England  for  the 
first  time  about  the  year  1821,  accompanied  by  his  sister, 
who  had  been  married  to  the  Due  de  Guiche,  afterwards 
Due  de  Grammont,  who  himself  had  been  educated  in  this 
country  and  whose  sister  had  married  Lord  Ossulston, 
later  Earl  of  Tankerville,  which  facts  are  interesting  as 
largely  accounting  for  the  warm  reception  given  to  young 
D'Orsay  himself. 

It  was  on  this  occasion  that  he  became  acquainted  with 
Lord  and  Lady  Blessington,  and  subsequently,  at  their 
earnest  desire,  accompanied  them  on  a  tour  through 
France  and  Italy. 



He  married,  in  1827,  Lady  Harriet  Gardiner,  daughter 
of  Lord  Blessington  by  his  first  wife,  from  whom  he 
was  subsequently  separated.  This  incident  is  the  least 
defensible  in  his  career,  inasmuch  as  he  ought  never  to 
have  consented  to  marry  a  woman  for  whom  he  did  not 
really  care. 

After  the  separation  he  lived  in  constant  intercourse 
with  Lady  Blessington,  whom  he  regarded  as  a  mother, 
according  to  his  solemn  assurance  to  Madden,  the 
biographer  of  the  lady. 

Indeed,  D'Orsay  never  seems  to  have  entirely  recovered 
from  the  blow  caused  by  her  death,  and  his  latter  years  in 
Paris,  where  he  fought  against  poverty  by  doing  some 
artistic  work,  were  but  years  of  sorrow  and  regrets.  He 
died  in  1852,  and  with  him  died  the  type  of  which  he  was 
so  notable  an  example. 

The  name  of  D'Orsay  reminds  me  that  some  of  the 
foreign  residents  in  London  who  did  so  much  towards 
the  success  of  Almack's,  deserve  a  word  at  the  conclusion 
of  this  chapter. 

It  is  probable  that  at  no  time  has  London  teemed  with 
so  many  illustrious  "  aliens  "  as  at  the  moment  when,  the 
great  Napoleon  having  been  finally  beaten,  Europe  gave 
itself  up  to  that  sort  of  delight  that  a  schoolboy  may  feel 
when  his  master  has  been  called  away  and  he  is  free  to 
follow  his  own  devices. 

Englishmen  overran  the  Continent ;  foreigners  forgot 
their  traditional  terrors  of  the  Channel  and  flocked  to  see 
what  manner  of  strange  being  John  Bull  might  be  at 

I  don't  know  whether  Almack's  was  as  particular 
about  admitting  foreigners  within  its  precincts  as  it  was 
in  allowing  any  but  the  most  eligible  of  Englishmen  into 
its  rooms.  Probably;  for  most  of  those  who  became 
regular  visitors  here  either  bore  the  names  of  great 
R  257 


families  or  were  attached  to  the  numerous  embassies 
which,  now  that  Napoleon's  yoke  was  removed,  were  sent 
over  from  the  various  countries  that  had  for  years  been 
under  his  domination. 

Of  such  were,  of  course,  Prince  Paul  Esterhazy,  the 
Austrian  Ambassador,  and  the  Baron  de  Neumann, 
Secretary  to  that  Embassy,  and  both,  as  we  have  seen, 
closely  connected  with  Almack's  and  inveterate  dancers 
at  its  assemblies. 

The  Prince,  one  of  that  great  Hungarian  family  whose 
name  is  illustrious  in  European  politics  and  social  life, 
was  the  son  of  Prince  Nicholas  Esterhazy,  and  was  born 
in  1786.  After  serving  as  Austrian  Minister  to  Dresden 
and  in  Westphalia  he  was,  in  1814,  promoted  Ambassador 
to  Rome,  but  in  the  following  year  was  transferred  to 
London,  where  he  remained  three  years.  Returning 
again  in  1830  he  continued  here  till  1838,  when  he  retired 
from  active  political  work  and  went  to  reside  on  his  vast 
estates,  where  he  died  in  1861.  His  connection  with 
this  country  was  further  emphasised  by  the  fact  that 
his  son,  Prince  Nicholas,  married  in  1842  Lady  Sarah 
Villiers,  daughter  of  the  5th  Earl  of  Jersey  and  of  Lady 
Jersey,  the  redoubtable  patroness  of  Almack's. 

Baron  de  Neumann  became  equally  closely  connected 
with  us,  for  he  married  Lady  Augusta  Somerset,  daughter 
of  the  7th  Duke  of  Beaufort,  and  died  in  1850,  not  long  after 
he  had  been  appointed  Austrian  Ambassador  at  Florence. 
He  seems  to  have  been  very  friendly  with  Raikes  and, 
although  not,  as  a  rule,  communicative,  as  no  diplomatist 
should  be,  to  have  imparted  a  certain  modicum  of  political 
news  to  the  diarist,  who  duly  noted  it. 

Another  foreign  figure  at  Almack's  was  the  Comte  St 
Antonio,  who  is  shown  in  the  sketch  of  the  1815  ball  there 
as  dancing  with  Princess  Esterhazy.  The  Comte  later 
became  Due  di  Canizzaro,  and  appears  to  have  been 



married  to  Miss  Johnson,1  an  heiress.  That  they  did  not 
get  on  well  together  is  evidenced  by  Raikes,  who  speaks 
of  the  husband  only  seeming  anxious  to  avoid  every 
country  where  his  wife  might  happen  to  take  up  her 
residence,  and  more  particularly  by  the  fact  that  they 
were  afterwards  separated.  The  Duke  survived  his  wife, 
dying  at  Como  in  1841,  "said,"  writes  Raikes,  "to 
have  been  poisoned  by  overdoing  the  homoeopathic 

Another  habitu€  of  Almack's  who  married  an  English 
girl  was  the  Comte  de  Flahault,  to  whom  Miss  Mercer, 
daughter  of  Admiral  Lord  Keith  and  his  first  wife,  co- 
heir of  Colonel  Mercer,  was  united.  Many  were  the 
aspirants  to  Miss  Mercer's  hand.  She  favoured  at  one 
time,  the  Princess  Lieven  tells  us,  Comte  Pahlen,  at 
another  Narischkine,  and  there  was  even  talk  of  Byron's 
marrying  her,  which,  according  to  the  message  he  sent  her 
on  his  leaving  England,  seems  to  have  been  more  than 
probable.  Miss  Mercer  was  an  heiress,  and  a  beautiful 
one,  and  the  Comte  was  considered  a  lucky  man  in  win- 
ning her.  In  1823  she  succeeded  to  the  Barony  of  Keith, 
and  fourteen  years  later  to  that  of  Nairne,  through  her 
maternal  grandfather. 

Baron  Tripp  and  M.  Bourblanc  are  the  last  of  the 
foreigners  associated  with  Almack's  who  require  a  few 
words.  The  former  was  a  Dutchman  and  emigrated  from 
Holland  at  the  beginning  of  the  century,  according  to 
Raikes,  on  whose  diary  I  rely  for  the  facts  known  about 
him  and  M.  Bourblanc. 

Tripp  obtained  a  commission  in  the  10th  Light 
Dragoons,  the  Prince  Regent's  own  regiment,  and  with 
this  connection  with  a  crack  regiment,  coupled  with  a 
handsome  face  and  a  pleasant  manner,  he  was  received 
by  the  world  of  fashion  with  open  arms.  He  was,  says 

1  Raikes  spells  it  Johnston. 


Raikes,  "an  agreeable  boaster,  swearing  like  a  Hussar 
and  speaking  a  sort  of  baragouin,  half  German,  half 
French-English,  which  was  very  entertaining. " 

Later,  Tripp  took  up  his  residence  in  Brussels,  where  a 
duel  with  the  father  of  a  young  lady  to  whom  he  had  paid 
too  marked  attention  excited  a  not  very  favourable  im- 
pression. Subsequently  he  migrated  to  Florence,  where 
he  lived  a  good  deal  in  the  society  of  Lord  and  Lady 
Burghersh.  There  he  fell  in  love  with  a  married  lady 
named  Mrs  Fitzherbert,  and  finished  an  ornamental,  if 
not  particularly  useful,  career  by  shooting  himself  with  a 
pistol  borrowed  from  a  friend,  whether  from  jealousy  or 
unrequited  passion,  or  really  because,  as  he  said  in  some 
lines  he  left  scribbled  on  his  writing-table,  because  he  was 
tired  of  life,  is  a  mystery. 

Bourblanc's  fate  was  a  still  more  tragic  one  and  curiously 
out  of  keeping  with  his  fleeting  career  among  the  most 
highly  civilised  society  of  the  day,  for,  having  been  sent 
by  his  Government  on  some  distant  mission,  the  ship  he 
sailed  in  touched  at  an  unknown  island  and  Bourblanc 
joined  a  landing-party.  They  had,  however,  hardly  set 
foot  on  shore  before  they  were  surrounded  by  cannibals, 
killed  and  actually  devoured  by  the  savages,  in  the  very 
sight  of  their  vessel ! 

The  unhappy  victim  of  this  awful  fate  had  been  an 
attache"  to  an  embassy,  had  been  a  great  exponent  of  the 
waltz  and  the  quadrille  at  Almack's,  and  had  even  written 
verses  in  defence  of  the  former  dance,  singing  its  innocence 
and  its  charms — lines  which,  if  not  very  good,  were 
supported  by  irreproachable  sentiments,  and  he  had  lived 
in  the  best  society  of  his  day.  Could,  then,  a  fate  be 
more  singular  than  that  he  should  fall  a  victim  to  savage 
hands  and  be  eaten  by  savage  jaws. 



As  we  have  seen,  Almack's  hey-day  of  fashion  and  splendour 
lasted  from  its  inauguration  in  1765  till  about  1835. 
After  that  period,  however,  signs  were  not  wanting  that 
its  decay  was  at  hand,  and,  as  I  have  noted,  a  writer  in 
The  Quarterly  did  not  fail  to  observe  this  in  1840. 

It  is  not  difficult  to  understand  the  reason  for  this 
gradual  decay.  In  the  first  place,  conditions  of  society 
were  rapidly  changing.  With  the  accession  of  Queen 
Victoria  an  entirely  new  era  was  inaugurated,  and  the 
very  fact  that  a  female  sovereign  sat  on  the  throne  made 
it  more  difficult  for  powerful  ladies  of  the  aristocracy  to 
sustain  that  leadership  of  fashion  which  did  not  clash  with 
royal  prerogative  in  this  respect,  while  easy-going  monarchs 
like  George  IV.  and  William  IV.  governed  the  country. 

Added  to  this,  we  must  remember  that  the  ladies  who 
formed  the  most  formidable  portion  of  the  once  powerful 
tribunal  of  Almack's  were  undeniably  growing  old,  or 
else,  as  in  the  case  of  the  Princess  Lieven  and  the  Princess 
Esterhazy,  had  left  this  country ;  and  the  break-up  of 
this  "coalition,"  combined  with  the  new  conditions  of 
society  that  soon  obtained,  was  quite  sufficient  to  weaken 
so  seriously  the  constitution  of  Almack's  that  it  gradually 
became  at  first  demode"  and  then  but  a  memory. 

With  the  extinction  of  the  balls  Almack's  was  generally 
known  as  Willis's  Rooms,  although  long  before  their  dis- 
continuance Willis,  the  nephew  of  Almack,  had  managed 

During  the  earlier  years  of  the  Victorian  era  the  rooms 



were  used  for  dances,  lectures  and  readings,  and  concerts. 
Indeed,  so  far  as  the  last-named  entertainments  were 
concerned,  there  had  been  a  precedent,  for  it  is  known 
that  the  lady  patronesses  from  time  to  time  permitted 
concerts  and  balls  l  to  be  given  here  for  the  benefit  of 
fashionable  professors  of  dancing  and  celebrated  musicians 
and  singers.  Here,  from  1808  to  1810,  Mrs  Billington 
and  Braham  and  Signer  Naldi  gave  a  series  of  concerts  in 
opposition  to  those  of  Madame  Catalini  at  the  Hanover 
Square  Rooms.  Here  M.  Fierville  held  his  subscription 
balls,  for  which  Bartolozzi  engraved  the  beautiful  little 
benefit  tickets,  as  well  as  many  other  similar  entrance 
cards  for  various  benefit  performances  given  at  Almack's, 
which  are  still  to  be  met  with.2 

In  1839  there  appeared  here  one  of  those  remarkable 
prodigies  of  which  we  have  seen  so  many  in  our  own  day. 
In  this  case  it  was  a  Master  Bassie,  aged  thirteen  who, 
according  to  Thornbury,  "appeared  here  in  an  extra- 
ordinary mnemonic  performance." 

Five  years  later  Charles  Kemble  gave  his  "Readings 
from  Shakespeare "  in  the  great  ballroom.  But  the 
rooms  were  to  resound  to  the  voices  of  still  more  remark- 
able men,  for  here,  in  1851,  Thackeray  delivered  his  series 
of  Lectures  on  the  English  Humourists.  The  course 
was  given  on  the  afternoons  of  the  22nd  and  29th  of  May, 

1  In  July  1821  a  splendid  ball  was  given  here  in  honour  of  the 
Coronation  of  George  IV.  by  the  Due  de  Grammont,  Envoy  Extra- 
ordinary from  the  French  Court,  when  the  King,  the  Duke  of 
Wellington  and  various  members  of  the  Royal  Family  were  present. 
Rush,  in  his  Court  of  London,  mentions  this  dance,  and  notes 
that  a  beautiful  bouquet  was  presented  to  each  lady  as  she  entered 
the  room. 

2  In  the  author's  possession  is  a  "  Gentlemen's  Ticket !l  for  the 
"  Amicable  Assembly  "  held  here  on  the  i6th  of  May  1822 ;  it 
is  not  filled  up  with  the  name  of  the  recipient,  but  bears  that 
of  the  Secretary,  J.  K.  Silver,  who  acted  as  Introducer  in  this 



the  12th,  19th  and  26th  of  June  and  the  3rd  of  July, 
the  price  of  admission  being  £2,  2s.  for  the  set  of  six 
lectures,  these  seats  being  reserved,  and  7s.  6d.  for  a  single 
unreserved  place. 

Seldom,  perhaps,  had  that  "great  painted  and  gilded 
saloon,  with  long  sofas  for  benches,"  as  Charlotte  Bronte 
described  it,  been  filled,  even  in  the  hey-day  of  its  fashion, 
with  such  an  illustrious  throng.  Here  were  to  be  seen 
the  authoress  of  Jane  Eyre  timidly  exchanging  greetings 
with  Monckton  Milnes  and  Lord  Carlisle;  here  that 
amusing  diarist,  Caroline  Fox,  noted  Carlyle,  Dickens  and 
the  painter  Leslie,  besides  "innumerable  noteworthy 
people  " ;  here  came  the  learned  Hallam,  the  omniscient 
Macaulay,  the  very  "blue  "  Harriet  Martineau. 

Charlotte  Bronte  and  Caroline  Fox  have  both  left  their 
impressions  of  the  reader  and  his  treatment  of  his  subject, 
and  the  former  writes  that  "  there  is  quite  a  furore  for  his 
lectures" ;  "they  are  a  sort  of  essay,  characterised  by  his 
own  peculiar  originality  and  power,  and  delivered  with 
a  finished  taste  and  ease,  which  is  felt  but  cannot  be 
described  " ;  while  Miss  Fox  records  how  the  lecturer 
"reads  in  a  definite,  rather  dry  manner,  but  makes  you 
understand  thoroughly  what  he  is  about." 

After  the  lecture  at  which  Charlotte  Bronte  was  present, 
Thackeray  came  towards  her  and  asked  her  for  her  opinion 
on  his  performance;  but  before  another  of  the  series  he 
seems  to  have  been  in  a  state  of  nervousness,  rendering 
him  incapable  of  thinking  or  acting  for  himself  at  all, 
and  Fanny  Kemble,  in  her  Records  of  Later  Life,  gives  an 
amusing  picture  of  the  scene. 

"I  found  him,"  she  writes,  "standing  like  a  forlorn,  dis- 
consolate giant  in  the  middle  of  the  room,  gazing  about 
him.  *  Oh,  Lord  ! '  he  exclaimed,  as  he  shook  hands  with 
me,  '  I'm  sick  at  my  stomach  with  fright  1 '  I  spoke 
some  words  of  encouragement  to  him  and  was  going  away, 



but  he  held  my  hand  like  a  scared  child,  crying,  '  Oh,  don't 
leave  me!'  'But,'  said  I,  'Thackeray,  you  mustn't 
stand  here.  Your  audience  are  beginning  to  come  in,' 
and  I  drew  him  from  the  middle  of  his  chairs  and  benches, 
which  were  beginning  to  be  occupied,  into  the  retiring 
room  adjoining  the  lecture-room.  .  .  .  Here  he  began 
pacing  up  and  down,  literally  wringing  his  hands  in 
nervous  distress.  'Now,'  said  I,  'what  shall  I  do  ? 
Shall  I  stay  with  you  till  you  begin,  or  shall  I  go  and  leave 
you  to  collect  yourself  ?  '  '  Oh,'  he  said,  '  if  I  could  only 
get  at  that  confounded  thing  (the  lecture)  to  have  a  last 
look  at  it !  '  '  Where  is  it  ?  '  said  I.  '  Oh  I  in  the  next 
room  on  the  reading-desk.'  When  she  had  fetched  it 
she  accidentally  let  it  fall,  tumbling  the  leaves  in  inextric- 
able confusion.  'My  dear  soul,'  said  Thackeray,  'you 
couldn't  have  done  better  for  me.  I  have  just  a  quarter 
of  an  hour  to  wait  here  and  it  will  take  me  about  that  to 
page  this  again,  and  it's  the  best  thing  in  the  world  that 
could  have  happened.'  " 

The  other  great  voice  that  echoed  in  that  room  was 
that  of  Dickens,  who,  although  he  delivered  none  of  his 
lectures  here,  on  two  occasions  presided  at  public  dinners 
in  the  Great  Room,  the  first  being  on  14th  February  1866, 
when  he  acted  as  chairman  at  the  annual  feast  of  the 
Dramatic,  Equestrian  and  Musical  Fund,  and  spoke  in 
support  of  the  institution,  and  also  proposed  one  of  the 
toasts ;  the  second  being  on  5th  June  of  the  following  year, 
when  he  took  the  chair  at  the  Ninth  Anniversary  Festival 
of  the  "Railway  Benevolent  Society,"  and  proposed  the 
toast  of  the  evening  in  that  felicitous  manner  that  earned 
for  him  the  reputation  of  being  one  of  the  best  after-dinner 
speakers  of  his  time. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  specify  all  the  various  entertain- 
ments that  have  taken  place  in  Willis's  Rooms  since  the 
time  of  Almack's  assemblies  to  that  when  they  were 



appropriated  to  their  present  uses;   such  a  list  would  be 
rather  tiresome  and  not  particularly  instructive. 

To-day  the  Great  Room  has  become  the  auction  mart 
of  the  well-known  firm  of  Messrs  Robinson  &  Fisher,  who 
have  made  such  alterations  in  the  adjoining  parts  of 
the  building  in  their  occupation  as  were  required  by  the 
exigencies  of  their  business,  forming  spacious  offices 
at  the  top  of  that  once  so  celebrated  staircase,  beside 
which  a  note  of  modernity  is  given  by  the  presence  of 
the  nowadays  indispensable  lift. 

That  there  is  a  precedent  for  the  use  of  the  rooms  for 
such  a  purpose  is  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  on  20th  July 
1837  Messrs  J.  G.  &  G.  A.  Sharp  sold  here  by  auction, 
"By  Order  of  the  Trustees  appointed  by  His  Majesty  for 
the  Collection  and  Distribution  of  the  Deccan  Booty,"  the 
famous  Nassuck  Diamond  (weighing  357£  grains — and  of 
the  Purest  Water),  which  had  been  "captured  by  the 
Combined  Armies  " — I  quote  the  catalogue  lying  before 
me — "under  the  command  of  the  late  Most  Noble 
General  the  Marquis  of  Hastings,  G.C.B.,  etc.,  etc." 

Together  with  this  famous  stone  were  disposed  of  (by 
order  of  the  executors  of  the  late  Mr  Bridge  of  Ludgate 
Hill)  "The  Celebrated  Arcot  Diamonds,  which  were 
formerly  sold  by  direction  of  the  Executors  of  Her  late 
Majesty,  Queen  Charlotte,"  as  well  as  other  valuable 
jewels,  formerly  in  the  possession  of  Louis  XVI.,  Marie 
Antoinette,  Joseph  Bonaparte  and  the  Sultan  Selim. 

The  catalogue  is  illustrated  by  copper-plates  represent- 
ing the  various  facets  of  the  Nassuck  Diamond  and  also 
the  Arcot  Diamonds. 

The  latter  were  the  famous  stones  which  Warren 
Hastings,  on  his  return  to  England  in  1785,  presented 
to  Queen  Charlotte,  and  which  were  supposed  to  have 
influenced  her  Majesty  in  receiving  Mrs  Hastings,  whose 
past  had  not  been  irreproachable. 



At  Queen  Charlotte's  death  they  had  been  purchased 
by  Mr  Bridge,  the  famous  jeweller. 

Other  portions  of  Almack's  have  undergone  a  radical 
change ;  on  the  west  side  of  the  entrance  is  now  Prince's 
Restaurant — a  fashionable  resort,  and  it  is  said  favourably 
entreated  of  by  White's  Club  itself ;  on  the  east  side  are 
various  small  business  premises,  flanked  at  the  end  by 
the  old-world  house  which  forms  the  headquarters  of 
the  Orleans  Club;  so  that  few  traces  of  the  original 
characteristics  of  the  once  famous  Almack's  remain. 


/  • 

CONSIDERING  what  an  important  part  was  played  by 
Almack's  in  the  realms  of  fashion,  and  also  what  an 
amount  of  power  and  influence  was  wielded  by  the  lady 
patronesses  who  directed  its  fortunes,  it  is  but  natural 
that  in  the  fiction  of  the  day  it  should  be  continually 
mentioned,  and  its  high  priestesses  made  to  play  a  part 
in  the  novels  which  appeared  during  the  early  years  of 
the  nineteenth  century,  especially  when  we  remember 
that  these  novels  were  what  are  wont  to  be  termed 
"fashionable  "  ones. 

Thackeray  has  had  his  laugh  at  this  sort  of  literature, 
and,  indeed,  there  is  not  much  to  be  said  in  its  defence ; 
but  if  one  wished  to  enact  the  part  of  the  advocatus 
diaboli,  one  might  point  out  that  it  had  its  uses,  and  still 
has  its  value,  in  presenting  a  more  or  less  correct  picture 
of  the  manners  of  a  period  which  seems  as  far  removed 
from  us  as  the  times  of  the  Tudors  or  Stuarts. 

The  days  when  it  was  considered  the  thing  to  drive  down 
to  Richmond  and  dine  at  The  Star  and  Garter ;  to  dance 
nightly  at  The  Pantheon,  The  Argyle  Rooms,  or  Almack's  ; 
to  pass  the  evening  at  Ranelagh  or  Vauxhall,  are  gone 
with  the  snows  of  yester-year.  No  longer  does  the  gilded 
youth  of  the  period  twist  off  knockers,  upset  Charleys 
(the  Charley  is  as  dead  as  the  megatherium  !),  or  frequent 
The  Shades  or  the  Thieves'  Kitchen,  or  other  haunts  as 
low  or  disreputable. 

Bohemia  has  enlarged  its  borders,  and  the  inhabitants 
of  that  free-and-easy  country  now  take  their  pleasures,  if 



s  - 

more  soberly,  at  least  in  better  lighted  and  regulated 
haunts.  But  in  the  earlier  days  of  the  last  century  things 
were  different ;  there  was  a  certain  boisterous  merriment 
about  the  nocturnal  pleasures  of  our  forbears  which  neither 
the  L.C.C.  nor  the  Metropolitan  Police  would  think  of 

The  novelists  and  recorders  of  manners  and  customs  in 
the  earlier  days,  when  Almack's  flourished,  have,  however, 
a  different  tale  to  tell,  and  the  telling  of  it,  if  it  sometimes 
fills  us  with  some  disgust,  at  least  helps  to  picture  to  our 
minds  how  curious  and  complete  a  change  of  life  has 
befallen  London  in  the  relatively  short  space  of  time  which 
has  since  passed  by. 

The  sort  of  assemblies  of  which  Almack's  was  the  most 
important,  the  most  select,  the  most  tyrannic,  have  no 
equivalent  to-day  ;  and  such  novels  as  record  its  customs 
and  the  manners  of  its  habitues,  even  if  they  are,  as  is 
generally  the  case,  otherwise  worthless,  possess  a  sort  of 
value  as  documents  pour  servir  for  a  more  complete 
comprehension  of  its  history,  and  form,  indeed,  a  kind  of 
antiquarian  guide  to  its  secret  annals. 

The  chief  work  of  fiction  bearing  on  our  particular 
theme  is  itself  entitled  Almack's,  which  shows  that  it  is 
not  only  largely  based  on  this  institution,  but  promises 
some  interesting  side-lights  on  its  inner  workings,  from 
the  point  of  view  of  a  contemporary. 

Almack's  was  published  by  Saunders  &  Otley,  of 
Conduit  Street,  in  1827,  and  that  it  had  some  success 
is  proved  by  the  fact  that  at  least  three  editions  were 
called  for.  This  success  is  easily  understood  when  it  is 
remembered  that  the  novel  was  of  that  order  known  as 
"Romans  a  clef,"  in  which  actual  personages  are  adum- 
brated under  the  veil  of  fictitious  names;  and  though 
Almack's  bears  on  its  title  the  excellent  advice  of  Othello, 
to  "Nothing  extenuate,  nor  set  down  aught  in  malice," 



this  maxim  was  not  always  strictly  adhered  to.  The 
three  volumes  in  which  the  work  appeared  were  prefaced 
by  a  dedication,  which  must  be  given  in  full.  It  runs 
thus  : 

To  that  Most  Distinguished  and  Despotic 

Composed  of  their  High  Mightinesses  the 
Lady  Patronesses  of  the  Balls  at 


The  Rulers  of  Fashion,  the  Arbiters  of  Taste,  the 
Leaders  of  Ton,  and  the  Makers  of  Manners,  whose 
Sovereign  sway  over  "the  world"  of  London  has 
long  been  established  on  the  firmest  basis,  whose 
Decrees  are  Laws,  and  from  whose  judgement  there 
is  no  appeal ; 

To  these  important  Personages,  all  and  severally, 
who  have  formed,  or  who  do  form,  any  part  of  that 

usually  denominated 


Whether  Members  of  the  Committee  of  Supply, 


Holding  seats  at  the  Board  of  Control, 

The  following  pages, 
are  with  all  due  respect,  humbly  dedicated  by 


I  am  not  going  to  inflict  on  a  long-suffering  reader 
my  account  of  the  novel ;  I  have  read  it  through  and  fail 
to  detect  anything  in  the  nature  of  a  plot.  It  consists, 
indeed,  simply  of  a  number  of  scenes  of  fashionable  life  in 
town  and  country,  and  the  main  object  of  everybody  seems 
to  be  how  they  can  best  advance  their  own  interests  as 
aspirants  for  fashionable  fame. 

Homer  sings  of  the  search  for  the  Golden  Fleece ; 



Malory  writes  of  the  quest  of  the  Holy  Grail ;  the  novelist 
of  1827  shows  us  the  pursuit  of  tickets  for  subscription 
dances ! 

The  knights  of  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century 
did  not  keep  holy  vigils,  or,  sheathed  in  mail,  rescue  high- 
born damsels  from  the  clutch  of  dragons  or  robbers :  no ; 
these  later  embodiments  of  the  chivalric  idea  entered 
into  long  and  difficult  intrigues  to  procure  a  card  of  ad- 
mission to  Almack's,  and  the  guerdon  they  received  was 
a  belated  dance  or  the  privilege  of  finding  their  fair  one's 
carriage  at  what-you-like-o'clock  of  a  rainy  morning  ! 

This  is  how  one  of  the  characters  in  the  novel,  the 
Marchioness  of  Glenmore,  though  in  "  a  delicate  situation," 
speaks  of  the  chance  of  figuring  in  those  rooms :  "Oh  ! 
Lady  Anne,  do  you  know  I  have  got  a  promise  from  my 
Lord  that  I  shall  go  to  Almack's  when  I  am  in  town  ?  that 
is,  if  I  am  pretty  well.  I  told  him  I  would  lie  on  the  sofa 
now  as  long  as  he  pleased  if  he  would  promise  me  that ; 
and  so  he  did,  and  I  took  care  to  have  a  written  agreement 
about  it.  I  do  so  long  to  go  there." 

One  can  hardly  credit  the  trouble  that  was  taken  to 
procure  tickets,  but  as  Lady  Anne,  in  the  novel,  exclaims  : 
"The  fuss  makes  the  pleasure,"  and  for  this  reason,  as 
she  continues,  "the  uncertainty  attending  your  success; 
getting  a  ticket  when  you  know  how  many  girls  have  been 
refused  who  have  superior  pretensions  to  any  you  can 
boast ;  the  consciousness  that  you  owe  all  your  interest 
to  your  personal  merit,  your  good  looks,  your  ton.,  your 
taste  in  dress,  your  graceful  dancing,  or  your  lively  wit. 
Oh!  there  is  nothing  like  Almack's."  But  it  is  not 
only  the  ladies  who  are  enthusiastic  about  the  place. 
"Almack's!  "  exclaims  Lord  Hazlemore  to  Lady  Anne, 
"delightful  word!  Does  not  it  make  your  heart  beat 
even  to  hear  it  ?  There  is  nothing  worth  living  for  in 
town  till  the  lady  patronesses  are  arrived,  and  dear  Lady 



Hauton  is  busy  with  her  committees  and  her  tickets." 
Another  character,  Lord  Glenmore,  is  not,  however,  of  this 
way  of  thinking,  and  he  utters  some  home- truths  on  the 
subject:  "The  system  of  Almack's,"  he  says,  "is  alto- 
gether the  most  unnatural  coalition  that  ever  existed  in 
any  society.  A  set  of  foolish  women  caballing  together  to 
keep  the  rest  of  the  world  in  their  trammels,  who  have  no 
kind  of  right  to  do  so  but  what  they  choose  to  arrogate  to 
themselves,  is  a  very  curious  state  of  things  certainly,  but 
that  they  should  have  found  hundreds  of  independent 
people  silly  enough  to  bend  to  their  yoke  is  the  most 
extraordinary  part  of  the  story." 

Lord  and  Lady  Tresilian  agree  with  this  verdict.  The 
former,  asked  how  he  would  describe  good  society,  replies  : 
"In  the  Almack's  acceptation  it  means  the  friends,  ad- 
mirers and  toadies  of  the  six  ladies  patronesses,  foreigners 
of  all  countries  and  of  all  grades,  who  speak  French  or 
broken  English.  If  you  do  not  belong  to  any  one  of  these 
classes,  vain  are  your  pretensions :  you  can  never  be 
admitted  to  be  one  of  tis. "  To  which  Lady  Tresilian  adds 
quite  a  little  history  of  the  procedure  of  the  patronesses. 

"This  institution,"  says  her  ladyship,  "has  now 
existed  ten  years,  and  six  self-elected  female  sovereigns 
have,  during  all  that  time,  held  the  keys  of  the  great  world, 
as  St  Peter  was  supposed  to  do  those  of  the  kingdom  of 
Heaven.  These  ladies  decide,  in  a  weekly  committee,  upon 
the  distribution  of  the  tickets  for  admission  :  the  whole  is 
a  matter  of  favour,  interest,  or  calculation ;  for  neither 
rank,  distinction,  nor  merit  of  any  kind  will  serve  as  a 
plea,  unless  the  candidate  has  the  good  fortune  to  be 
already  upon  the  visiting-book  of  one  of  these  all-powerful 
patronesses.  Not  to  be  known  to  one  of  the  six,  must 
indeed  argue  yourself  quite  unknown."  And  she  adds: 
"  Almack's  is  a  system  of  tyranny  which  would  never  be 
submitted  to  in  any  country  but  one  of  such  complete 



freedom  that  people  are  at  liberty  to  make  fools  of  them- 
selves " ;  while  her  husband  ends  the  discussion  by  in- 
forming Colonel  Montague,  whom  they  are  both  initiating 
into  the  mysteries  of  Almack's,  that  a  certain  distinguished 
foreigner,  over  in  this  country  in  an  official  position, 
determined  not  to  submit  to  these  rigorous  rules,  but  that 
he  had  to  finally  give  in,  and  in  doing  so  he  was  heard  to 
exclaim : 

"Qu'est-ce  que  la  gloire !  il  n'y  en  a  done  plus! 
Quand  on  a  vu  le  Conque*rant  d'Austerlitz  mourir  a  St 
Helene,  et  son  vainqueur  content  de  se  mettre  sur  la  liste 
des  e'le'gantes  d 'Almack's,  on  peut  bien  dire,  'II  n'y  a  plus 
de  gloire  !  ' 

The  seventh  chapter  of  the  third  volume  is  entitled 
"Almack's  Ball,"  and  is  headed  by  those  lines  in 
Luttrell's  Advice  to  Julia,  in  which  the  poet  exclaims : 

"Oh  !  that  I  dared,  since  hearts  of  iron 
Melt  at  the  strains  of  Moore  and  Byron, 
Borrow  their  thoughts  and  language  now 
To  paint  our  Almack's  belles  :  for  how, 
Unless  their  Muse  my  fancy  warms, 
Describe  such  features  and  such  forms." 

I  don't  think  any  specific  details  of  this  chapter  would 
be  exhilarating.  Balls  are  much  alike,  and  those  at 
Almack's  seem  not  greatly  to  have  varied  from  those  we 
have  all  attended.  The  point  was  the  difficulty  in  getting 
admitted,  and  of  that,  I  think,  I  have  given  sufficient 

It  is  evident  that  the  author  of  the  novel,  whoever  he 
may  have  been,  was  au  courant  with  the  various  modes 
of  procedure,  both  in  the  matter  of  allotting  or  with- 
holding tickets,  the  election  of  patronesses  and  the  rules 
formulated  by  the  tribunal.  Of  the  latter  he  gives  a  copy ; 
while  the  notification  to  the  Baroness  de  Wallenstein  of 



her  election  to  that  body  is  obviously  an  authentic 
document  filled  in  with  fictitious  names.  It  runs  thus : 
"James  and  William  Willis  have  received  the  instruc- 
tions of  the  Ladies  Patronesses  of  the  balls  at  Almack's, 
to  inform  the  Baroness  de  Wallenstein  that,  at  the  Com- 
mittee held  this  day,  an  unanimous  resolution  was  passed, 
to  confer  on  her  Excellency  the  office  of  Patroness,  vacant 
by  the  resignation  of  the  Dowager  Countess  of  Lochaber." 


"J.  and  W.  Willis  have  the  honour  to  inform  the 
Baroness  de  Wallenstein  that  the  regular  committee  for 
the  discharge  of  business  will  meet  as  usual,  on  Monday 
the  8th  of  April,  when  her  attendance  is  most  earnestly 
and  particularly  desired.  The  Countess  of  Hauton  in 
the  Chair." 

But  if  this  is  a  substantially  correct  transcript  of  one  of 
the  regular  notices  issued  under  such  circumstances,  an 
advertisement  supposed  to  have  been  sent  to  the  papers 
by  the  management  of  Almack's,  which  Lady  Anne  reads 
to  Lady  Hauton  and  Lady  Norbury,  and  which  she  says 
to  those  grandes  dames  "  cuts  you  all  up  famously,"  is  an 
amusing  skit,  and  shows  much  knowledge  of  the  various 
characters  of  the  patronesses.  I  will  give  it  in  full  and 
it  shall  be  the  last  extract  from  these  not  altogether 
unamusing  volumes : 


"A  vacancy  having  occurred  in  the  direction  of 
Almack's,  we  have  been  solicited  to  give  currency  to  the 


"  Wanted    for   the    ensuing   season    at   Almack's,    as 
Patroness,  a  person  of  undeniable  character,  quick  parts, 
s  273 


good  address,  and  well  known  in  the  fashionable  world : 
she  must  possess  a  good  memory,  be  complete  mistress  of 
the  peerage,  and  write  a  free  running  hand,  besides  being 
sufficiently  grounded  in  the  rudiments  of  arithmetic  to 
understand  the  extent  of  the  numbers  to  be  admitted  on 
her  books.  Her  manner  must  be  decided,  so  that  she 
be  always  capable  of  giving  evasive  answers  or  positive 
denials,  according  to  the  situation  of  those  from  whom  she 
receives  applications. 

"She  must  possess  great  tact,  in  order  to  be  able  to 
practise  with  precision  the  different  degrees  of  the  art  of 
cutting ;  which  last  qualification  must  be  a  sine  qua  non 
previous  to  any  attempt  to  enter  as  candidate. 

"And  whereas  many  extraordinary-looking  persons, 
whose  faces  were  unknown,  have  occasionally  been  suffered 
to  appear  at  Almack's,  more  especially  about  Easter,  it  is 
hereby  specified  that  none  can  be  considered  candidates 
for  the  office  who  are  in  any  way  connected  with  any 
singular-looking  persons  of  either  sex. 

"  The  above  regulation  will  be  strictly  attended  to,  as, 
owing  to  the  Ladies  Patronesses'  desire  of  obliging,  the 
Committee  might  find  themselves  placed  in  disagreeable  cir- 
cumstances. No  very  good-natured  person  need  apply,  as 
it  takes  much  time  to  get  rid  of  that  objectionable  quality. 

"N.B. — The  situation  is  particularly  adapted  for 
widows.  The  inconvenience  of  disobliging  persons  of 
respectability  who  come  from  the  country  (and  who  of 
necessity  are  among  the  proscrits)  having  led  to  serious 
consequences  in  county  elections. 

"Apply  to  any  of  the  Ladies  Patronesses  for  further 

Some  time  after  the  appearance  of  the  novel  a  key  to  it 
was  issued,  said  to  have  been  compiled  by  no  less  a  person 
than  Benjamin  Disraeli.  Some  of  the  names  are  not 



difficult  to  guess  without  its  aid,  Lady  Hauton  being 
Lady  Jersey,  and  the  Baroness  de  Wallenstein  thinly  veil- 
ing the  Princess  Lieven ;  by  its  help,  however,  the  whole 
dramatis  personce  stand  forth  as  well-known  personages. 

The  name  of  Disraeli  reminds  me  that  in  some  of  his 
earlier  novels  Almack's  figures.  Particularly  does  one 
recall  the  debut  of  that  wonderful  young  duke  here,  where 
"he  galloped  with  grace  and  waltzed  with  vigour,"  and 
"his  dancing  was  declared  consummate."  But  when  the 
author  takes  us  to  Castle  Dacre  he  warns  us  that  the  party 
assembled  there  were  not  fashionable  people,  and  tells  us 
that  "we  shall  sadly  want  a  lady  patroness  to  issue  a 
decree  or  quote  her  code  of  consolidated  etiquette."  "I 
am  not  sure,"  he  adds,  "that  Almack's  will  ever  be  men- 
tioned " ;  but  at  the  same  time  we  must  remember  that 
the  name  of  Lady  Almack  is  introduced  in  Vivian  Grey 
as  indicating  a  noble  dame  of  ultra-fashionable  proclivities. 

In  those  now  long-forgotten  three-volume  novels  of 
the  twenties,  thirties  and  forties  of  the  last  century — the 
works  of  Mrs  Moberley  and  John  Mills  and  a  host  of  other 
now  well-nigh  unknown  writers  of  fiction — books  which 
are  sometimes  found  in  second-hand  stalls  or  are  occasion- 
ally met  with  among  the  unregretted  rubbish  of  seaside 
circulating  libraries — Almack's  name  occurs  again  and 
again,  and  many  of  these  volumes  are  filled  with  the 
fashionable  flummery  of  which  Almack's  was  the  special 

It  is  not  surprising  that  in  the  novels  of  Dickens 
Almack's  receives  no  mention.  Thackeray,  on  the  other 
hand,  although  I  don't  remember  any  allusion  to  it  in  his 
greater  books,  posed  as  a  man  of  fashion  and  knew  the 
rooms  probably  at  first  hand ;  in  any  case  the  egregious 
"  Jeames  de  la  Pluche,  Exquire,"  is  to  be  found  alluding 
to  himself  as  "worling  round  in  walce  at  Halmax  with 
Lady  Harm,  or  lazaly  stepping  a  kidrill  with  Lady  Jane." 



So,  too,  in  Tom  and  Jerry  we  find  that  wonderful  pair, 
with  Corinthian  Tom,  making  a  glorious  trio,  now  in  Tom 
Cribb's  parlour,  now  at  the  opera,  the  play,  and,  bliss  of 
bliss,  at  Almack's  itself,  "amidst  a  crowd  of  high-bred 
personages,  with  the  Duke  of  Clarence  himself  looking  at 
them  dancing."1 

The  pencil  of  Cruikshank  has  immortalised  the  doings 
of  these  heroes  and  shows  us  the  gilded  hall  of  the  great 
Temple  of  Fashion  itself. 

I  have  always  thought  it  rather  strange  that  in 
D'Horsay,  or  The  Follies  of  the  Day,  where  high  life,  and 
sometimes  very  low  life  indeed,  is  described  with  some 
minuteness,  and  the  career  of  the  great  D'Orsay  himself 
forms  the  staple  of  the  argument,  as  it  were,  no  mention  is 
made  of  Almack's.  Was  it  that  Mills,  its  author,  feared 
to  desecrate  the  sacred  place  by  too  rough  handling  ? 
Had  he  received  a  hint  that  such  a  reference  would  be 
resented  ?  Is  the  absence  of  the  name  due  to  respect, 
inadequacy  or  caution  ? 

Although  the  references  to  Almack's  in  the  fiction  of  the 
day  are  general  rather  than  particular  and,  except  in  the 
novel  from  which  I  have  quoted  at  some  length,  hardly 
repay  the  time  necessary  for  a  careful  investigation,  there 
is  one  little  book  published  in  the  twenties  in  which  the 
name  occurs  again  and  again.  I  allude  to  the  Advice  to 
Julia,  the  work  of  that  witty  man  about  town,  Henry 

The  poem  is  one  of  those  of  which  the  name  is,  I 
suspect,  better  known  than  the  lines  themselves,  but  it 
is  well  worth  reading,  because,  in  always  easy,  sometimes 
graceful  and  frequently  witty  verse,  the  author  gives  us  a 
clearly  defined  picture  of  the  period,  so  far  as  that  period 
is  represented  by  the  fashionable  life  of  the  West  End. 
Indeed,  the  poem  may  be  described  as  a  generalising 

1  See  Thackeray's  Roundabout  Paper  entitled  "  De  Juventute." 



journal  in  verse,  and  considering  the  extravagant  vagaries 
of  fashion  at  the  period  in  which  it  was  penned,  it  is  agree- 
ably free  from  spite  or  bitterness,  although  the  author  is 
ever  ready  to  hit  off  in  easy  persiflage  the  passing  follies 
of  the  hour. 

I  have  already  quoted  some  lines  from  the  work  in  an 
earlier  chapter  ;  let  me  give  a  few  more  extracts : 

"There  "  (at  Almack's),  writes  Luttrell, 

"There,  baffled  Cupid  points  his  darts 
With  surer  aim,  at  jaded  hearts ; 
And  Hymen,  lurking  in  the  porch, 
But  half  conceals  his  lighted  torch. 
Hence  the  petitions  and  addresses 
So  humble  to  the  Patronesses ; 
The  messages  and  notes,  by  dozens, 
From  their  Welch  aunts  and  twentieth  cousins, 
Who  hope  to  get  their  daughters  in 
By  proving  they  axe  founders'  kin." 

Indeed,  to  such  an  extent  did  this  sort  of  thing  go  that 
in  a  note  to  the  poem  it  is  actually  asserted  that  an  applica- 
tion made  to  the  patronesses  on  behalf  of  a  young  lady, 
contained  her  portrait ! — which  astounding  fact  is  referred 
to  in  the  following  lines  : — 

"Hence  the  smart  miniatures  enclosed 
Of  unknown  candidates  proposed ; 
Hence  is  the  fair  divan  at  Willis's 
Beset  with  Corydons  and  Phillises, 
Trying,  with  perseverance  steady, 
First  one,  and  then  another  lady, 
Who  oft,  'tis  rumoured,  don't  agree, 
But  clash  like  law  and  equity ; 
Some  for  the  Rules  in  all  their  vigour, 
Others  to  mitigate  their  rigour." 

Well  may  the  author  ask : 

"How  shall  the  Muse,  with  colours  faint 
And  pencil  blunt,  aspire  to  paint 
Such  high-raised  hopes,  such  chilling  fears  ?  " 


"The  bold  becomes  an  abject  croucher, 
And  the  grave — giggle  for  a  voucher  "; 

and  can  see 

" —  all  bow  down — maids,  widows,  wives — 
As  sentenced  culprits  beg  their  lives, 
As  lovers  court  their  fair  one's  graces, 
As  politicians  sue  for  places." 

The  introduction  of  the  quadrille  presented  unexpected 
difficulties  to  the  novices  of  that  now  too  familiar  dance, 
and  an  expedient  was  found  for  those  who  were  unable  to 
stamp  the  various  figures  on  their  memory  ;  in  fact,  this 
was  no  less  than  a  card  of  directions,  and  the  curious 
spectacle  was  thus  presented  of  a  dancer  who,  to  continue 
in  Luttrell's  words, 

"Holds,  lest  the  figure  should  be  hard, 
Close  to  his  nose  a  printed  card, 
Which,  for  their  special  use  invented, 
To  Beaus,  on  entrance,  is  presented ; 
A  strange  device,  but  all  allow 
'Tis  useful — as  it  tells  them  how 
To  foot  it  in  the  proper  places 
Much  better  than  their  partner's  faces." 

There  is  much  more  in  the  same  strain,  but  an  end  must 
be  made  of  quotations.  Let  me  finish  them  with  a  few 
lines,  in  which  the  apotheosis  of  splendour  is  reached,  and, 
notwithstanding  the  heart-burnings  outside  the  magic 
portals,  all  within  is  light  and  laughter  : 

"O  !  Julia,  could  you  now  but  creep 
Incog,  into  the  room  and  peep, 
Well  might  you  triumph  in  the  view 
Of  all  he  has  resign 'd  to  you  ! 



Mark,  how  the  married  and  the  single 
In  yon  gay  groups  delighted  mingle  ! 
Midst  diamonds  blazing,  tapers  beaming, 
Midst  Georges,  stars  and  crosses  gleaming, 
We  gaze  on  beauty,  catch  the  sound 
Of  music,  and  of  mirth  around  ; 
And  Discord  feels  her  empire  ended 
At  Almack's — or  at  least  suspended." 



ABBOT,  John,  44 

Adam,  42 

Adam,  Robert,  143 

Adams,  154 

Addington,  136 

Addison,  Joseph,  101,  133,  138,  158, 

171,  178 

Advice  to  Julia,  272,  276-279 
Affleck,  Sir  Gilbert,  117 
Agas's  Plan,  13 
Ainsworth,  253 
Akenside,  Mark,  77 
Albemarle  Buildings,  30 
Albion  Club,  52 
Alexander,  Sir  George,  60 
Allen,  Viscount,  246,  252 
Almack's  (novel),  268 
Alvanley,  Lord,  136,  177,  245-249 
Andover,  Lord,  16 
Angelo's  School  of  Arms,  44 
Anglesey,  Lord,  215 
Anne,  Princess,  76 
"  Anti- Procrustes,"  37 
Apsley,  Sir  Allan,  20 
Architects'  Club,  161 
Archives,  Institute  of,  160 
Arcot  diamonds,  265 
Argyle  Rooms,  267 
Argyll,  Duke  of,  245,  249 
Arlington,  Earl  of,  32,  78-79 
Arlington  Street,  32,  34,  75-90 
Armistead,  Lord,  119 
Arran,  Lord,  72 
Arthur,  John,  123 
Arthur,  Robert,  125,  128 
Arthur's,  49,  53,  121,  156-157 
Astley,  Sir  John,  62 
Aston,  Hervey,  245 
Aston,  Lord,  16 
"  Athenaeum,"  44 
Atterbury,  28 
Auchinleck,  60 
Aylesford,  Lord,  84 

BABMAY'S  Mews,  40 

Bacon  (croupier),  166 

Bacon,  Francis,  14 

Baden,  Princess  Marie  of,  86 

Baker,  Sir  George,  74-75,  91 

Baldwin,  16 

Banderet,  152 

Banks,  Sir  John,  72-73 

Banting,  William,  44 

Barbauld,  Mrs,  112 

Barberini  vase,  61 

Barclay,  48 

Barrow,  Luke,  96,  99-100 

Barry,  Sir  Charles,  1 19 

Barrymore,  Lady,  73 

Bartolozzi,  262 

Basevi,  162 

Bassett,  Lady,  20 

Bassie,  Master,  262 

Bath,  Earl  of,  15,  82,  136 

Bathurst,  Benjamin,  155 

Baux,  44 

Bayfield,  Miss,  79 

Beauclerk,  Hon.  Mrs,  105 

Beau  clerk,  Topham,  154 

Beaufort,  Duchess  of,  203,  205 

Beaufort,  Duke  of,  86,  94,  127,  146, 


Beazley,  Samuel,  59 
Beck,  Gabriel,  26 
Beckford,  Peter,  178 
Bedford,  Duchess  of,  145,  203 
Beever,  Chiron,  144 
Behr,  Baron,  117 
Bellamy,  Mrs,  67 
Bellasis,  Lady,  22 
Bennet  Street,  20,  32,  34,  78-79 
Bennett,  John,  55 
Bentinck,  Lord  Henry,  52 
Berkeley,  Bishop,  74 
Berkeley,  John  Syme,  205 
Berkeley,  Lady,  63 
Berkeley,  Lord,  129 



Berkshire,  Earl  of,  16,  118,  177 
Berkshire   House,  30,   32,  38, 


Bernard,  Dr,  173 
Berry,  63 
Berry,  C.,  39 
Berwick,  Lord,  116 
Bessborough,  Lord,  155 
Betty  (Mrs  Neale),  50,  184-186 
Bidney,  Miss,  52 
Bidwell,  153 
Billington,  Mrs,  262 
Bingley,  Sir  John,  16 
Bird,  William,  172 
Bland  &  Foster,  51 
Blandford,  Marquis  of,  182 
Blane,  Sir  Gilbert,  120 
Blessington,  Lady,  256-257 
Blood,  179,  188-189 
Blount,  Theresa,  60 
Blue  Ball  Yard,  24,  51,  95 
Blue  Boar  Yard,  95 
"  Blue  Peter,"  53 
Bonaparte,  Joseph,  86 
Bond,  G.,  57 
Bond's  Club,  50 
Boodle's    Club,   44,    461    121, 


Boothby,  203 
Borlase,  Lady,  21 
Boscawen,  Hon.  Anne,  105 
Boscawen,  Mrs,  106,  202-203 
Boss,  52 
Boswell,  J.,  60 
Botetourt,  Baron,  205 
Bothmer,  Baron,  82 
Boufflers,  Mme  de,  76 
Bourblanc,  214,  259-260 
Bourke,  Hon.  Algernon,  132 
Bracken,  Mrs  Susanna,  116 
Bradshaw,  245,  249 
Braham,  59,  262 
Bramston,  134 
Brett,  Captain,  101 
Brettingham,  136 
Bridge,  265-266 
Bridgewater,  Duke  of,  1 19 
Bridgewater,  Earl  of,  116 
Bridgewater  House,  1 19 
Briggs,  Messrs,  44 
British  Hotel,  76 
Brocklesby,  Dr,  142 
Bronte,  Charlotte,  263 
Brook,  Lord,  81 

Brooks's  Club,  49,  50,  53,  121,  146- 
118-  156 

Brougham,  155 

Brpuncker,  Lord,  21,  90,  178 

Brown,  Ulysses,  81 

Brown  &  Willes,  38 

Brumley,  43 

Brummell,  G.  B.,  63,  136,  155,  178, 

192,  239-245 
Brunswick  Hotel,  76 
Bryant,  44 

Buckingham,  Duchess  of,  80 
Buckinghamshire,  Lady,  129 
Budgell,  Eustace,  101 
Buede,  General  de,  105 
Bunbury,  Sir  Charles,  201 
"  Bunch  of  Grapes,"  23 
Bunn,  Alfred,  59 
Burdett,  Francis,  109 
Burdock,  Samuel,  172 
Burghersh,  Lord,  227,  260 
Burke,  Edmund,  67,  156,  173,  178 
Burke,  Richard,  173 
Burke,  Sir  John,  216 
Burlard,  Lady,  20 
Burlington,  Earl  of,  35,  91 
143-       Burney,  Fanny,  106,  107,  112 

Burrell,  Mrs  Drummond,  211,  233- 


Burrell,  Peter  Robert,  233 
Bury  Street,  63-66 
Bute,  Earl  of,  75,  117,  140 
Bute,  Lady,  106 
Butler,  Lady  Harriet,  212-215 
Button's,  173 
Byng,   Hon.    Frederick,    155,    243, 

246,  254 

Byron,  4th  Lord,  200 
Byron,  George,  Lord,  40, 78-79,  m- 

ii2,  142-143,  178,  184,  191,  212, 


CALDECOTE,  Charles,  28 

Camden,  Marquis,  86 

Campbell,  Lord,  156 

Campbell,  Thomas,  47,  68,  112,  181 

Canizzaro,  Due  di,  232,  244-245 

Carberry,  Earl  of,  91 

Cardigan,  Lord,  62 

Carey,  101 

Carlisle  House,  196 

Carlisle,  Countess  of,  177,  200 



Carlisle,  Earl  of,  103-105,  118,  135, 


Carlyle,  Thomas,  222,  263 
Carpenter,  Lady  Almeria,  200-201 
Carter,  Mrs  Elizabeth,  106 
Carteret,  Lord,  74 
Cartwright,  Madame,  28 
Gary,  52 

Castlehayen,  Earl  of,  22 
Castlemaine,  Lady,  119,  179 
Castlereagh,  Lord,  120,  136 
Castlereagh,  Lady,  211 
Catalini,  Madame,  262 
Catch  Club,  160 
Caterer,  43 
Catherine  Street,  34 
Catherine  Wheel  Lane,  114-115 
Catherine  Wheel  Yard,  24,  52 
Catholic  Union  of  Great  Britain,  68 
Cavendish  Hotel,  76 
Chantrey,  in 
Chapone,  Mrs,  106-107 
Charles  Street,  71 
Chatham,  ist  Earl  of,  77, 190 
Chatham,  2nd  Earl  of,  89 
Chaworth,  200 
Chess  Club,  48 

Chesterfield,  Earl  of,  77, 129, 136 
Cheylesmore,  Lord,  132 
Child,  227 

Cho'.mondeley,  Lord,  81 
Christie's,  58-59 
Chudleigh,  Elizabeth,  178 
Churchill,  Admiral,  102 
Churchill,  Lady  Caroline,  253 
Cibber,  Colley,  134,  136 
Civil  Service  Club,  162 
Clare,  Sir  Ralph,  16 
Clarendon,  Lord,  82,  118,  179 
Clarke,  Dr  George,  72 
Clarke,  James,  189 
Cleland,  William,  102 
Clement,  24 

Cleveland  Court,  114,  117 
Cleveland,  Duchess    of,  30,  80-8 1 

91,  158,  178 

Cleveland,  Duke  of,  59,  119 
Cleveland  House,  35,  118-119 
Cleveland  Row,  19,  116-120 
Cleveland  Square,  119-120 
Clifford,  Lord,  90 
Clinton,  Lord,  188 
dive,  Lord,  136 
Clive,  Mrs,  84 
Clutterbrooke,  20 

"  Cock,"  Tavern  23 

"  Cocoa  Tree,"  49 

Cocoa  Tree  Club,  51,  121,  138-143 

Codrington,  Sir  William,  82 

Coke,  John,  96 

Coke,  Thomas,  95-101,  178 

Cole,  Michael,  172 

Collaredo,  Madame,  225 

Collaton,  Sir  Peter,  20-21 

Combe,  Alderman,  155,  244 

Comyns,  Mrs,  180 

Conest's  Hotel,  75 

Congreve,  136 

Conservative  Club,  49,  52,  121,  162- 


Conway,  Colonel,  180 
Conyngham,  Lord,  248 
Cooke,  G.  F.,  66 
Cooke,  "  Kangaroo,"  246,  255 
Cooper,  Hon.  Mrs,  75 
Cope,  Sir  John,  104 
Corbett,  Sir  John,  15,  17 
Cornelys,    Madame,    195-196,    198, 


Cornwallis,  Lord,  178 
Cotton,  Charles,  77 
Coventry,  136 

Coventry,  Lady  Barbara,  250 
Cowley,  Abraham,  39 
Cowley,  Lady,  85 
Cowper,  Lady,  228-229 
Cox's  Hotel,  76 
Crabbe,  George,  66 
Crabtree  Fields,  35 
Craggs,  Secretary,  73,  102 
Crampern,  75 
Craven,  Berkeley,  247 
Crawfurd,  "  Teapot,"  246,  250-251 
Crawle,  152 
Creevey,  85 
Crellin,  42 
Crewe,  197,  237 
Crewe,  Lord,  156 
Crewe,  Mrs,  112 

,      Crockford's,  41,  49,  53,  164-168 
Crofts,  Sir  W.,  16 
Cromwell,  O.,  14,  68 
Crown  Court,  33 
Crown  and  Sceptre  Court,  20 
Cruikshank,  George,  40,  276 
Cruikshank,  R.,  151 
Crunden,  John,  46,  143 
Cullen,  Elizabeth,  236 
Cumberland,  Duke  of,  138,  200-201, 




Cumberland,  R.,  173 
Cunningham,  Sir  David,  16 


DAHL,  77 

Dallas,  41 

Darner,  G.  Dawson,  245 

Danby,  Earl  of,  16 

Dance,  161 

Dangar,  Thomas,  70 

Danvers,  Lady,  20 

Darking,  166 

Dartmouth,  Lord,  81-82 

D'Aurevilly,  Barbey,  239 

Davenant,  101 

Davies,  Scrope,  246,  254 

De  Berenger,  109 

Defoe,  Daniel,  76 

Deighton,  52 

Dejany,  Mrs,  61,  77,  84,  105,   114- 

115,  206 

Denmark,  King  of,  118 
De  Eresby,  Lord  Willoughby,  233 
Devonshire  Club,  49,  121,  164 
Devonshire,  Duchess  of,  201 
Devonshire,  Duke  of,  155,  215 
Dewes,  Mrs,  105 
Dickens,  Charles,  263-264 
Dilettanti,  Society  of,  160 
Dingley,  Mrs,  61 
Disraeli,  Benjamin,  137,  274-275 
Disraeli,  Isaac,  109,  174,  192 
Dodd,  44 

Dodington,  Bubb,  136 
Dodsley,  Robert,  77 
"  Dog  and  Duck,"  24 
"  Dolphin  and  Crown,"  24 
Donegall,  Lord,  215 
Dorchester,  Marquis  of,  81 
D'Orsay,    Count,     137,    215,    255- 


Dorset,  Duke  of,  83 
Doublet,  Sieur,  205 
Dowglass,  Sir  Archibald,  16 
Dryden,  John,  72,  80 
Dudley,  Lord,  87 
Dudley,  Sir  Matthew,  172 
Duke  Street,  66-69 
Duncombe,  Sir  J.,  20,  27,  178 
Dundonald,  Earl  of,  109 
Dunning,  142 
D'Urfey,  T.,  77 
Dyer,  C.,  52 

EALY,  Thomas,  55 

Eaton,  132 

Eccentric  Club,  70 

Egerton  Club,  162 

Eglinton  Tournament,  62 

Eley,  47 

Eliott,  Thomas,  19 

Ellesmere,  Earl  of,  119 

Ellice,  Edward,  83 

Elliot,  170 

Ellis's  Hotel,  49 

Elmsley,  162,  183 

Emilie,  Countess,  76 

English,  C.  G.,  53 

English's  Hotel,  53 

Esmond,  Harry,  143 

Esterhazy,  Prince,  258  ;   Prince  N., 

Esterhazy,  Princess,  211,  213,  215, 

232,  233 

Eugene,  Prince,  159 
Evans,  I.  &  R,  46 
Evelyn,  John,  18,  40,  90-118,  179 

FAITHORNE'S  Plan,  31 
Farmers'  Society,  160 
Farquhar,  133 
Farrington,  Colonel,  95 
Fenton's  Hotel,  49,  51,  53 
Fenton,  John,  116 
Fenwick,  Sir  John,  20, 22,  28, 178 
Fierville,  262 
Fisher,  52 
Fitzgerald,  155 
Fitzherbert,  Mrs,  260 
Fitzpatrick,  Colonel,  91 
Fitzpatrick,  General,  88,  154 
Fitzroy,  Lady  C.,  180 
Fitzroy,  Mrs,  206 
Fitzwilliam,  Lady  Betty,  105 
Flahault,  215,  259 
Flaxman,  111-112 
Flitcroft,  102 
Flood,  Henry,  117 
Floyd,  Miss,  253 
Foley,  Lord,  245,  249 
Foreign  Office,  117 
Forde,  Captain,  29,  170 
Fountaine,  Sir  Andrew,  124 
Four-in-Hand  Club,  86 


Fox,  Caroline,  263 

Fox,  Charles  James,  88-89,  94. 
129-130,  136,  145-148.  i54 
178,  181-182,  191,  237 

Fox  Club,  153-154 

Fox  Court,  20,  69-71 

Fox,  George  Lane,  146 

Francatelli,  165 

Francis,  Sir  P.,  67,  155 

Frankland,  William,  172 

Fraser,  Sir  W.,  224-225 

Freere,  236 

Frisby,  74 

GAGE,  Lieut.-General,  92 

Gage,  Lord,  84-86 

Gandon,  161 

Garcia,  44 

Gardiner,  Lady  Harriet,  257 

Garrick,  David,  156,  173 

Garth,  Sir  Richard,  139 

Gaunt's  coffee-house,  125,  170,  175 

Gay,  John,  116,  133,  170,  173 

Gaynor,  145-146 

Geary,  Miss,  50 

Geographical  Society,  160 

Geological  Society,  160 

Geology,  Museum  of  Practical,  76 

George  III.,  85,  137,  148 

George  IV.,  136,  154,  191,  234,  241 

Gibbon,  Edward,  77,  140,  144-146, 

156-162,  178,  183-184 
Gibbons,  Grinling,  76 
Gibbons's  Tennis  Court,  20 
Gibson,  Colonel,  92 
Giddy,  Osman,  42 
Gildon,  Charles,  159 
Gillray,  45,  77.  130, 145, 178,  184 
Girle,  Leonard,  35 
Gladston,  J.,  16 
Gladstone,  W.  £.,75,  148;  164 
Gloucester  Court,  20,  57 
Gloucester,  Duchess  of,  201 
Gloucester,  Duke  of,  58 
Glover,  "  Leonidas,"  78 
"Goal,"  24 

Godolphin,  Earl  of,  95,  97 
Godolphin  House,  95 
"  Golden  Ball,"  116 
"  Golden  Globe,"  74 
Goldsmith,  Oliver,  173-174 
Gordon,  72 
Gordon,  Duchess  of,  200,  201 

Gordon,  Lord  George,  120 
Gordon  Riots,  106 
Gorringe,  Lord,  16 
Goudge,  Edward,  96-99,  101 
Gow,  Neil,  212 

Graf  ton,  Duke  of,  83,  147,  178 
Grafton,  Duchess  of,  203-204 
Graham's  club-house,  52 
Graham's  Hotel,  49 
Grammont,  Due  de,  256' 
Granville,  Earl,  83-84,  148 
Graves,  Lord,  215-216 
Gray,  Lady  Mary,  91 
Gray,  Thomas,  74 
Great  Jennyn  Street,  33,  71 
"  Grecian,"  138 
Greenvill,  73 
Gregory,  E.  J.,  54 
Grendison,  Lady,  73 
Grenier's  Hotel,  76 
Grenville,  Thomas,  120 
Greville,  Charles,  225-226 
Griffin,  151-153 
Gronow,  208-209 
Guards'  Club,  49,  168 
Guildford,  Lord,  81 
Gun  Tavern,  75 
Gunning,  General  J.,  182 
Gunning,  Mrs,  182 
Gunning,  Sir  Robert,  105 
Gurney,  J.,  50 
Gwydyr,  Lord,  234 



Halifax  House,  58 

Halifax  (George  Savile,  Earl  of),  58 

Halifax,  Marchioness  of ,  91 

Hall,  Captain  Basil,  109 

Hallagan,  Matthew,  56 

Hallam,  Henry,  263 

Halpin,  52 

Halse,  152 

Hamilton,  Duke  of,  86 

Hamilton,  Governor,  75 

Hamilton,  Lady,  87-88 

Hamilton,  Sir  William,  61 

Hamilton,  W.  Gerard,  22,  84 

Hance,  42 

Harding,  Nicholas,  97 

Hare,  Tames,  178,  181 

Hare,  Sir  John,  60 

Hare,  the  "  Silent,"  245,  251 



Harlowe,  77 

Harper's,  50 

Harris,  Mrs,  144 

Harrison,  52 

Harvey,  141 

Haslewood,  87 

Hastings,  Warren,  108,  265 

Hatch,  Jane,  52 

Hawkins,  Miss,  70 

Hayman,  Francis,  39,  77 

Haymarket,  14 

Haynes,  52 

Hayward,  Abraham,  192 

Redder,  George,  153 

Heidegger,  136,  195 

Heinel,  Mile,  151 

Henderson,  Sir  Alexander,  85 

Heneage,  Madame,  95 

Henn,  Mr,  16 

Herries  &  Co.,  43 

Hertford,  Marchioness  of ,  118,  203 

Hervey,  Augustus,  178 

Hervey,  Colonel,  105 

Hervey,  Lady,  102-103 

Hervey,  Lady  A.,  104,  109 

Hervey,  Lord,  87 

Higgins,  Madame,  73 

Hill,  Sir  John,  42 

Hillingdon,  Dowager  Lady,  94 

Hobhouse,  J.  Cam,  45 

Hoby,  49,  168 

Hogarth,  William,  54,  93,  124-125 

Hogg,  E.,  47 

Holderness,  Lady,  203,  205 

Holland,  Henry,  49,  150 

Holland,  Lord,  129,  161,  185 

Hollar,  31 

Hook,  Theodore,  117,  192 

Hooke,  Mr  John,  17 

Hophman,  91 

Hopper,  ^156 

Home,  77 

Horseshoe  Alehouse,  24 

Horton,  Mrs,  201 

How,  Sir  James,  22 

Howard,  Colonel  Thomas,  20 

Howard,  Lord,  17 

Huddlestone,  Tristram,  28 

Hughes,  "  Ball,"  246,  253 

Hughson,  Lord,  19 

Hume,  David,  92,  156 

Hummel  &  Co.,  44 

Humphrey,  Miss,  45 

Humphrey,  Ozias,  49 

Hunt,  16 


Hunter,  Dr,  74 
Huntingdon,  Earl  of,  105 
Hurst,  John,  55 
Hutchinson,  Governor  T.,  22 

ILCHESTER,  Lord,  151 
Imhoff,  1 08 

Imperial  Fire  and  Life  Office,  42 
Inchiquin,  Earl  of,  95 
Irvine,  Sir  John,  75 

JACOBITES,  28,  138 

Jenyns,  Soame,  66,  106 

Jermyn  Street,  20,  71-77 

Jerrold,  William,  69 

Jersey,  Lady,  85,  211-212,  217-219, 


Jervas,  Charles,  117 
Johnson  Club,  48,  160 
Johnson,  General,  109 
Johnson,  Mrs,  243 
Johnson,  R.,  51 
Johnson,    Samuel,   51,   60,   67,   76, 

173,  184,  191 
Jollyfe,  John,  52 
Jones,  Charles,  44 
Jones,  Inigo,  26 
Jones,  Owen,  86 
Jones,  William,  46 
Junior  Army  and  Navy  Club,  57 
Junior  St  James's  Club,  168 


KELSEY,  Francis,  40 
Kemble,  Charles,  262 
Kemble,  Fanny,  263-264 
Kempton  Park  Club,  48 
Kendall,  William,  43 
Kendals,  the,  60 
Kennett,  White,  102 
Kenney,  59 
Kensington,  Lord;  75 
Kent,  84 

Keppel,  Major,  66 
Kidney,  172 

King  Street,  20,  58-62,  71 
"  King's  Head,"  23,  48 


Kingston,  Lord,  81,  178 
Kip's  Plan,  22,  33 
Kirkcudbright,  Lord,  56 
Kit-Kat  Club,  160 
Knapton,  160 
Knight,  Francis,  46 
Kynollis,  17 

LAMINGTON.  Lord,  220,  225 
Lane,  Mr  Champion,  17 
Lansdowne,  Lord,  69 
Latella,  Q.,  86 
Lauriere;  J.,  50 

Lawrence,  Sir  Thomas,  75,  160 
Lennox,  Lady  Sarah,  201 
Lennox,  Lord  W.  Pitt,  215 
Leopold  I.  (of  Belgium),  215 
Lepel,  Molly,  103,  178 
Leper  Hosp'ital,  13 
Lewis,  43 

Lieven,  Count,  230 
Lieven,  Princess,  211,  213,  229- 
Ligonier,  178 
Limerick,  Earl  of,  70 
Lincoln,  Earl  of,  16 
Lingsing,  Baron  de,  174 
Linnean  Society,  161 
Literary  Club,  161,  170 
Literary  Society,  161 
Little  Jermyn  Street,  33,  71 
Little  King  Street,  30 
Little  Rider  Street,  24,  69 
Little  St  James's  Street,  21 ;  52 
Lloyd,  Miss,  206 
Lloyd,  Rufus,  245 
Lloyd's  coffee-room,  145 
Lock,  James,  40 
Lock,  Messrs,  187 
Locker,  E.  H.,  75 
Lockyer,  133 
London,  Bishop  of,  202 
London,  Madame,  19 
London  Chronicle,  36 
Londonderry,  Lady,  227-228 
Londonderry,  Lord,  215 
Long  Street,  the,  18-19 
Lorne,  Marquis  of,  182 
Lowther,  Lord,  117 
Lubbock,  Sir  John,  109-110 
Lucan,  Lord,  104 
Lumley,  Lady,  17 
Lumsden,  Archibald,  25-26 
Luttrell,  Narcissus,  90 

Luttrell,  Henry,  136,  222,  276-279 
Lyttelton,  Lord,  114 
Lytton,  137 


MACALL,  W.,  148-149,  196,  235-236 
Macaulay,  111-112,  263 
M'Clary,  H.  J.,  44 
Macdonald,  Clanronald,  212 
Macdonald,  Miss,  220 
M'Dowell,  47 

Mackinnon,  Dan,  245  ;  Colonel,  255 
Mackreth,  Robert,  128,  131 
Maclean,  42,  172,  180,  184 
Macraith,  R.,  143 
M'Turk,  Wm.,  45 
Mahon,  Lord,  190 
Malcolm's  A  necdotes,  36 
Maiden,  Lord,  109 
Mallet,  David,  89 
March,  Lord,  145,  203,  205,  238 
Marlborough  Club,  131 
233         Marlborough,  Duchess  of,  203 
Marlborough,  Duke  of,  72,  203 
Marryat,  Captain,  68,  109 
Martin,  52 
Martindale,    Henry,     129 ;      John, 


Martineau,  Harriet,  263 
Marylebone  Lane,  34 
Mason,  Lieut.-Colonel,  17 
Mason,  William,  74,  116,  185 
Matthias,  James,  40 
114      May,  Baptist,  39 

Melbourne,  Lord,  136 

Melville,  Lord,  87 

Mennis,  116 

Mercandotti,  Mile,  253 

Mercer,  Miss,  259 

Meredith,  George,  45,  192 

M6rim6e,  Prosper,  89 

Metreof ,  Prince,  190 

Meynell,  Mrs,  206 

Middlegast,  Mrs,  24 

Middleton,  R.,  16 

Middleton,  W.,  44 

Military,  Naval  and  County  Service 

Club,  167 
Miller,  Sir  T.,  152 
Mills,  John,  245,  249 
Milnes,  Monckton,  263 
Mimpress,  52 
Moira,  Earl  of,  104,  109 
Mole  worth,  Viscount,  95 



Molyneux,  Lady,  203,  206 

Moneys,  52 

Monmouth,  Lord,  81 

Montagu,      Edward,      212,      245 ; 

George,  83 ;    Lady  M.   Wortley, 

173  ;  Mrs,  106 

Montgomery,  Miss,  212 ;  Mrs,  212 
Moore,  47 
Moore,  Charles,  52 
Moore,  Thomas,  65,  68,  69,  75,  m- 

112,  219-220 
Mordaunt,  Brig.,  138 
Mordaunt,  General,  109 
Morden  &  Lea's  Plan,  32 
More,  Hannah,  106 
Morris's,  171 
Mortimer,  T.  J.,  46 
Motley,  John  L.,  89 
Mumford,  Erasmus,  127 
Musgrave,  P.,  22  ;    Sir  W.,  92 
Mylne,  Robert,  197 

Northumberland,  Countess  of,  72, 

127,  178,  180 

Nottingham,  Earl  of,  30,  95,  119 
Nugee,  43 


O'BlRNE,   141 

O'Connell,  Daniel,  66, 156,  248 

Old  English  Manor  House,  61 

"  OldQ,"  77,  127,  136,  177-178,  205 

Oldmixon,  134 

Oranmore,  Sir  C.,  22 

Orkney,  Earl  of,  91 

Orleans  Club,  62 

Ormond,    Duke  of,    159,    178-179, 


Orrery,  Lady,  91 
Ossory,  Earl  of  Upper,  152,  204 
Ozinda's  chocolate-house,  29,    138, 



"  NAG'S  HEAD,"  28 

Naldi,  262 

Napier,  George,  201 

Napoleon,  Second  funeral  of,  57 

Napoleon  III.,  58,  61-62,  137 

Narischkine,  259 

Nassuck  diamond,  265 

Navy  Club,  161 

Neale,    Mrs  Elizabeth    ("Betty"), 


Needham,  Mother,  93 
Neeld,  247 
Neild,  James,  39 
Nelson,  Lord,  50,  60,  87,  178 
Nerot's  Hotel,  60 
Neumann,  Baron  de,  213-214,  232, 

245-  258 

New  University  Club,  49,  121,  163 
Newcastle,  Duchess  of,  128 
Newton,  Sir  Isaac,  73 
Nicholls  &  Housley,  43 
Nickson  and  Welch,  23 
Norden,  31 

Norfolk,  Duke  of,  142 
Noris,  Robert,  38 
Norman,  70-71 
North,  Col.  J.  S.,  87 
North,  Lord,  106,  113-114;    Roger, 

80  ;  Sir  Dudley,  80 
Northington,  Earl  of,  105 

PACK,  Richardson,  75 

Page,  52,  1 66 

Paget,  Lady  Jane,  253 

Pahlen,  Comte,  259 

Palmer,  Madame,  19 ;    Roger,  19 

Palmerston,    Lady,    211,    228-229  ; 

Lord,  136,  213 

"  Pandemonium,  The  New,"  165 
Pantheon,  206-207,  267 
Papworth,  J.  B.,  46, 144 ;  Wyatt,  57 
Paris,  Dr,  92 
Park  Place,  20,  35,  90-94 
Parnell,  Thomas,  102 
Parsloe,  James,  56  ;  Jane,  48 
Parsloe's,  161,  169-170 
Pavement,  the,  18 
Payn,  R.,  50 
Payne,  Jack,  169 
Peel,  Sir  Robert,  163,  252 
Pelham,  83,  87  ;  Miss,  206 
Pembroke,  Lady,  203,  206 
Pendarves,  Mrs,  84 
Pendennis,  Major,  66 
Fender,  Sir  John,  85 
Pennethorne,  Sir  J.,  57 
Pepys,  90-91,  1 1 8,  179 
Perceval,  131-132 
Peter,  Colonel,  105 
Peterborough,  Earl  of,  81,  106,  109 
Peters,  41 
Petersham,  Lord,  177 



Peyrault's  Bagnio,  51 

Peyton,  Sir  Thomas,  16 

Philip  &  Whicker,  51 

Philips,  101 

Phillimore,  Sir  R.  G.,  82 

Phillipps,  Sir  R.,  113-114 

Philosopher's  Club,  161 

Phipps.  C.  J.,  164 

Pizza,  Colonel,  91 

Pickering  Court,  33,  56 

Pickering,  Lady,  17,  179 

Pickering  Place,  17,  20,  39,  187 

Pickering,  William,  39,  56 

Pierrepoint,  H.,  245,  249 

"  Pigadillo,"  18 

Pi  got,  Admiral,  92 

Pike.  43 

Pike,  Lady,  20 

Pilkington,  Mrs  Letitia,  42 

Pilkington,  Rev.  Matthew,  42 

Pioneer  Club,  94 

Pitcairn,  David,  238 

Pitt,  George,  95 

Pitt,  John,  82 

Pitt,  William,  75,  92,  129-130,  136, 

178,  190 
"  Plough,"  34 
Plunket,  1 80 
Plunkett,  Major,  183 
"  Poet's  Head,"  24,  38 
Political  Economy  Club,  161 
Pomfret,  Lady,  84 
Poniatowska,  Princess,  103 
Pope,  Alexander,  73,  93,  117,  134, 

173.  184 

Porter's  Plan,  32 
Portland,    Dowager   Duchess,     74  ; 

Duchess  of,  106,  107-108;    Duke 

of,  147,  197,  237 
Portugal  Street,  35,  81 
Poulett,  Lord  Wm.,  91 
Poulteney,    Michael,    15,   17;    Mrs 

Anne,  15-16;   Sir  William,  15 
Pratt's  Club,  94 
Primrose  Club,  94 
"  Prince  of  Orange's  Head,"  28 
Pringle,  Sir  John,  60 
Prior,  Matthew,  75,  139 
Propagation  of  Gospel,  Society  for, 


Public  Schools  Club,  114 

Pulford,  51 

Pulteney,  87,  90 ;    Sir  William,  19, 

Pym,  32,  80 


QUBENSBBRRY,    Duke    Of,    144, 

1  80  ;  Marquis  of,  245 
Quitznow.  155 

RACHEL,  60 

Raggett,  George,   130-131;    Henry, 


Raikes,  R.,  85,  155,  178,  213,  215 

Ranelagh,  Lord,  17,  267 

Ravel,  60 

Ravensworth,  Lord,  204 

Rawlings'  Hotel,  76 

Reading,  way  to,  14 

Redham's  riding  school,  45 

Regulus,  129 

Reynolds,  Lord,  17;  Sir  Joshua, 
156,  160, 173,202,  236 

Rhodes'  map,  51,  55 

Rich,  Sir  Robert,  95 

Richards,  50 

Richardson,  17 

Richmond,  Duchess  of,  72 ;  Duke 
of,  82,  147 

Ridley,  42 

Rigby,  105 

Ripon,  Lord,  62 

Road  Club,  94 

Robert,  74 

Robertson,  51 

Robinson,  Anastasia,  106-109; 
Mrs,  71,  109 

Robinson  &  Fisher,  265 

Rochester,  Earl  of,  67,  179 

Rochford,  Lady,  203,  205 

Rocque's  map,  34 

Rodney,  Lord,  116,  178 

Rogers,  S.,  69,  88,  95,  110-113 

Roman,  Peter,  27 

Romney,  George,  118 

Romney,  Lord,  152 

Rooke,  Sir  George,  73,  75 

Ros,  Henry  de,  245 

"  Roscius,  The  Infant,"  89 

Rouelle,  75 

Rowe,  Nicholas,  139 

Rowland,  161-162 

Rowlandson,  151 

Roxburghe,  Duke  of,  197,  237 

Royal  Academy  Club,  161 ;  Astro- 
nomical Society,  161 

"  Royal  Chair,"  65 



Royal  College  of  Physicians'  Club, 


Royal  Institution  Club,  161 
Royal  Insurance  Company,  50 
Royal  London  Yacht  Club,  161 
Royal  Naval  Club,  161 
Royal  Societies  Club,   49,  51,   121, 


Royal  Yacht  Squadron,  161 
Rumpelmeyer's,  41,  58 
Russell,  Colonel,  69 
Russell's  Court,  23,  117 
Russell,  Lady  Caroline,  203 
Russell,  Lord  William,  178 
Russell,  Richard,  23 
Russell,  William,  148 
Rutland,  Duke  of,  86-87,  129,  240, 


Ryder,  Captain,  70 
Ryder,  Lady  Susan,  212 
Ryder  Street,  20,  69-71,  81 

ST  ALBANS,  Duchess  of,  65 ;   Duke 
of,  109,  113;   Earl  of,  13,  27,  39, 

58,  71.  ?6 

St  Albans  Medical  Club,  161 
St  Albans  Street,  64,  71 
St  Aldegonde,  Count,  212,  214,  245 
St   Bartholomew's   Contemporaries, 

St  George's,  Hanover   Square,    34, 


St  Helen's,  Lord,  108 

St  James's  bazaar,  41,  42,  48,  57, 


St  James's  coffee-house,  170-175 
St  James's  Church,  13,  76-77 
St  James's  Fair,  25 
St  James's  Fields,  14,  25 
St  James's  Market,  25 
St  James's  Palace,  13 
St  James's  Parish,  34 
St  James's  Place,  20,  94-116 
St  James's  Royal  Hotel,  49-53 
St  James's  Square,  13,  14 
St  James's  Theatre,  59-60 
St  John,  Henry,  174 
Saintefoy,  76 
Salisbury,  Earl  of,  60 
Salisbury,  Marquis  of,  85 
Sams's,  42 
Sandown  Park  Club,  48 

Sandwich,  Lord,  178 

Saville,  Henry,  72 

"  Savoir  Vivre,"  143-144 

Scares,  Captain,  17 

Scharf,  George,  133 

Schneider,  60 

Scott,  Captain,  24 

Scott,  Sir  Walter,  45,  76 

Scroope,  Sir  Carr,  67 

Scrope,  Lady,  20 

Seeker,  Archbishop,  76 

Sedley,  Sir  Charles,  91,  179 

Sefton,  Lady,  211, 229 

Sefton,  Lord,  85,  136,  178 

Selwyn,  Hon.  George,  116,  136,  154- 

155,  178,  238 
Serre,  Sieur  de  la,  31 
"  Shades,  The,"  267 
Shadwell,  72 
Sharpe,  John,  25 
Shee,  Sir  Martin,  75 
Sheffield,  Lord,  183 
Shelburne,  Lord,  171 
Shenstone,  74 
Shepherd,  T.  H.,  160 
Sheridan,    136,    142,    147,    154-155, 


Sherwin,  J.  K.,  70 
Siddons,  Mrs,  71 
Skydimore,  Lord,  17 
Slater,  42 

Smirke,  Sydney,  162 
Smith  &  Co.,  52 
Smith,  Charlotte,  60 
Smith,  Edward,  38 
Smith,  Hon.  John,  95 
Smith,  J.  T.,  70-71 
Smith,  Robert,  no 
Smith,  Sydney,  75,  112,  117 
Soames,  Sir  William,  72 
Sole-man,  248 

Somerset,  Lady  Augusta,  258 
South,  Captain,  95 
South  Sea  Bubble,  73 
Sowton,  J.,  172 
Spencer,  Hon.  W.,  66 
Spencer  House,  109 
Spencer  Lord,  105,  152 
Spring,  Samuel,  139-140 
Stable  Yard,  20,  22,  94 
Stair,  Earl  of,  82 
Standish,  212,  245,  249;  Sir  Frank, 


Stanhope,  Lady  Henrietta,  144 
Stanhope,  Lord,  91 



Stanley,  Sir  W.,  71 

"  Star  and  Garter."  267 

Star  Club,  161 

Statistical  Club,  161 

Stavordale,  Lord,  141 

Steele,  Sir  Richard,  63-64,  101,  133, 

158,  172,  178 
Stepney,  Sir  John,  114 
Stinton,  W.,  43 
Stock,  Mrs,  114 
Stopford,  Earl,  109 
Storer,  178 
Stothard,  T.,  111-112 
Stow,  29 
Strangford,  65 
Strathmore,  Lord,  197,  237 
Strong,  52 

Stroud's  Court,  23,  56 
Stuart,  Hon.  Keith,  116 
Stuart,  James,  no 
Stuart,  Lady  Euphemia,  103 
Stuart,  Lord  Dudley  Coutts,  68 
Suffolk,  Lady,  201 
"  Sugar  Loafe,"  179 
Sugden,  Lord,  67 
Sumner,  in 
Sussex  Club,  161 
Sussex,  Earl  of,  35 
Sutton,  Manners,  192 
Swift,  61,  63-65,  70,  139,   158-160, 

170,  172,  178 

Sydney,  Viscount,  120,  150 
Symons'  Hotel,  49,  163 

TAGG,  Madame,  19 

Talbot,  Jack,  246,  253 

Talleyrand,  248 

Tallis,  41 

Tankerville,   Earl  of,   256;    Lady, 


Tarleton,  169 
Tenison,  Archbishop,  76 
Terrace,  the,  23,  30 
Terrell,  Sir  Robert,  35 
Thackeray  (Lloyd)  &  Co.,  51 
Thackeray,  W.  M.,  57,  186,  262-264, 

267,  275-276 
Thanet,  Countess  of,  116 
"  Thatched  House,"  49,  218 
Thatched  House  Chambers,  158, 161 
Thatched  House  Club,  52,  121,  157- 


Thatched  House  Court,  21,  105,  115. 


Thatcher,  Francis,  91 
"  Thieves'  Kitchen,"  267 
Thomas,  John,  50 
Thompson,  Mrs,  243 
Thomson,  J.,  173 
Thurlow,  151,  159 
Thynne,  149 
Tickell,  150 
Ticknor,  in,  217-220 
Townshend,  22,  74,  105,  116,  150 
Triphook,  Robert,  45 
Tripp,  Baron,  214,  259-260 
Tuisaye,  de,  108 
"  Turk's  Head,"  161 
Turner,  J.,  44 
Twemlow,  69 

"  Two  Blue  Pyramids,"  73 
Tyburn  Road,  34 


UDE,  165 

Union  Society  of  St  James  s,  161 
Universal  Literary  Cabinet,  51 
Upper  St  James's  Park,  27 

VANDERPUT,  Mrs,  63 

Vanhomrigh,  Mrs,  65 ;  Miss  E.,  70 

Vardy,  J.,  109 

Vauxhall,  267 

Velde,  Van  der,  77 

Venner,  Colonel,  95 

Vere,  Lord,  105 

Verelst,  Simon,  72 

Vernon,  178 

Vernon,  Lord,  92 

Verrio,  Anthony,  35 

Vevini,  71 

Villiers,  Barbara,  19 

Villiers  Court,  20 

Villiers,  Colonel,  27 

Villiers,  Lady  Sarah,  232,  258 

Vivyan,  Sir  Richard,  29,  170 


WAKE,  Archbishop,  76 
Walker,  16,  45 



Walker,  John,  104 

Walker,  W.,  40 

Waller,  Edmund,  16,  17,  19,  22,  98- 

99.  177.  J79.  184 
Walpole,  C.  H.,  82 
Walpole,  Horace,  66,  72,  82,  89,  106, 

135-136,   141,   156,  178-180,  185, 

199,  205-206,  238 
Walpole,  Sir  Robert,  82,  89,   116, 


Walsingham  House,  89 
Walton,  Izaak,  77 
Warren,  Sir  George,  117 
Warrender,  Sir  George,  245 
Warton,  174 
Warwick  Street,  35 
Waterhouse,  Alfred,  163 
Waterloo  Hotel,  76 
Watier's,  169 
Wayne,  Ralph,  26 
Webster,  Sir  Thomas,  128 
Webster,  Sir  Whistler,  127 
Weddell,  Mrs,  107 
Weigall,  42 
Welch  &  Gwynne,  44 
Weld,  Simon,  24 

Wellington,  136,  209-210,  217,  230 
Wellington  Restaurant,  167 
Weltzie's,  168-169 
West,  Ben,  160 
Westmorland,  Earl  of,  73,  224 
Weston,  Edward,  91 
Wetenhall,  R.,  40 
Weyer,  Van  der,  85 
Weymouth,  Lady,  84;     Lord,  61, 

83.  147 

Wheelwright,  152 
Whitbread,  154 
White,    Elizabeth,    123;     Francis, 


White  Hart  Inn,  35 
White's  Club,  33,  47,  121,  122-137 

Whitefoord,  Caleb,  173 
Wilberforce,  Bishop,  62 
Wilberforce,  145,  154,  178 
Wilbraham,  Roger,  109,  154 
Wild,  78 

Williams,  Gilly,  118,  136,  178,  238 
Williams,  Thomas,  39 
Williamson,  51  ;    Francis,  26 ;    Sir 

Joseph,  73 

Willis,  218,  236  ;  J.  and  W.,  52 
Willis's  Rooms,  59 
Wilmot,  Sir  Robert,  22 
Wilson,  John,  46 
Wilson's  European  Emporium,  59 
Wimborne  House,  86  ;  Lord,  86 
Windham,  SirWm.,  128 
Winnock,  Josiah,  56 
Wirgman,  Peter,  51,  184-186 
Wolfe,  General,  184 
Worcester,  Lady,  212  ;    Lord,  212, 

245,  249 

Wordsworth,  William,  112 
Worsley,  Sir  Robert,  61 
Wren,  Sir  Christopher,  76 
Wyatt,  161,  165 
Wyatt's  rebellion,  188 
Wyngaerde,  13,  14 

YACHT  CLUB,  161 
Yarborough,  Earl  of,  84 
York  Chambers,  47 
York,  Duke  of,  87,  155 

ZETLAND,  Marquis  of,  85 
Zoffany,  John,  78 
Zucchi,  no 


DA  Chancellor,  Edwin  Beresford 

685  Memorials  of  St.  James's 

3U3C4        street